The 15-month isolation SA rugby returned from when the Bulls played the Rainbow Cup final in Treviso was not as long as what they returned from at the start of the unification era in 1992, but the game showed one thing remains the same: we rate ourselves highly when we just play among ourselves.

Three decades ago, after Australia won the 1991 Rugby World Cup, the Wallaby coach Bob Dwyer wrote the book The Winning Way. In it he described how confounding it was to be told by so many South Africans wherever he went that the Wallabies weren’t the real world champions; the Springboks were. This was based on a perception of the strength of the Currie Cup...

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