THERE was an aura of quiet confidence emanating from the Springbok rugby team on Sunday night as they boarded their Qantas flight at OR Tambo International Airport bound for Australia and the start of the 2010 Tri-Nations.
Heading for Sydney they will catch a connecting flight to Auckland, New Zealand, ahead of Saturday's clash with the All Blacks.
But that confidence does not mean the Springboks will be taking the New Zealanders lightly. Far from it.
"We respect the opposition a lot. We fear none but we respect everybody. There's no question about that," said coach Peter de Villiers minutes before boarding the flight.
"First of all we have to get over this long flight. It's the first time we travel such a long distance and play a Test in the same week, so we have to overcome this first."
De Villiers also played down the fact that the Springboks are favourites going into this year's competition.
"There are no champions at this stage. We start from scratch and hopefully after the six games (away and home) we will be champs," the coach said.
"We are trying to improve week by week even if it is only by half a percent. It is the little things that create a winning culture."
Whereas with the Super 14 competition teams target games as "must-wins", De Villiers believes you can run into trouble if you adopt that philosophy.
"We don't target games because you never know what will happen on the day. We go and prepare for the game at hand ... that's what our fans deserve, what our country deserves. If you target certain games your mindset will be in the wrong place."
After Auckland it is on to Wellington for the second Test against the All Blacks and then to Brisbane, Australia, for a date with the Wallabies on July 24 before returning to South Africa and the home leg of the competition.