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Springbok coach Jake White and captain John Smit would have awoken in their hotel room in St Denis, France, this morning knowing this is their day of reckoning.
Four years of meticulous planning has gone in to tonight's game (9pm kickoff) against current World Cup champions England and in just a matter of hours we will all know just how thorough that planning actually was.
Both teams have everything to play for. For the winner it is an easy route through to the final. For the loser, the prospect of coming up against New Zealand, France or Australia in the quarters and semifinals.
It has been a disruptive week for both sides.
England lost prop and captain Phil Vickery for two matches following their opening clash against the United States. Suspended for tripping an opponent, Vickery will be sorely missed not only for his scrumming strength but general leadership qualities.
As if that is not bad enough, flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson is still battling to get over an ankle injury and finds himself on the sidelines.
Despite their problems Bok coach Jake White is not writing the English off.
"The only people who have written off England are the media.
"England will have six, seven, eight players who were involved in a rugby World Cup final four years ago so I don't think it will be a one-sided affair at all," White was quoted earlier this week as saying.
For South Africa things took a turn for the worse on Wednesday when blonde flanker Schalk Burger found himself out of the game for four matches for a dangerous tackle on Samoan scrumhalf Junior Polou during their 59-7 victory on Sunday. The ban was later reduced to two matches. White has brought in Wickus van Heerden to the side of the scrum but the loss of Burger will be sorely felt.
In rugby circles Burger is highly rated with many describing his work rate as that of three players.
After his four-try blitz against the gutsy Samoans, winger Bryan Habana will be looking for another strong match and with his role redefined by assistant coach Eddie Jones, Habana should possess too much pace for his opposite number, Jason Robinson.
For fullback Percy Montgomery the match will be a personal milestone, reaching scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen's record of 89 matches in the green and gold of South Africa.
And what better way to celebrate than a convincing win over the holders of the Webb Ellis trophy and that easy route to the final.