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South Africa facing 'Mission Impossible'

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Sportal.co.nz     28 Aug 2013     Getty Images

Writing on supersport.com, Brenden Nel said the tight game with Argentina in Mendoza showed how much work lay ahead of the side if they were to achieve wins over both countries for the first time since 2009.

Putting it bluntly, Nel said given South Africa hadn't won in nine games at Suncorp Stadium, where they meet Australia on Saturday week, and hadn't won at Eden Park since 1937, they could be just as wise to hand over their flight tickets and concede the games.

However, he did sense there could be a chance against an Australian team struggling to find its game plan and South Africa had also played poorly in Argentina in 2012 before suffering close losses in Australasia.

Looking at Sunday's (NZT) game, Nel said: "The most worrying aspect was the performance of individuals on defence – their inability to adapt to both the referee and the way the opposition attacked them at the breakdowns."

He suggested Australian flanker Michael Hooper would have taken notice of that feature of the game. And against Richie McCaw things were not likely to get any easier.

"Mendoza provided a stark reminder that while things go well at home, away from the comforts of South Africa you have to be at your best in every game.

"That is nowhere more true than in the next fortnight in Brisbane and Auckland where this Bok team will face an acid test against the odds," he said.