South Africa may be on a three-match losing streak, and facing their first-ever Tri-Nations whitewash, but coach Peter de Villiers is still not putting victory at a premium.
Speaking at a media briefing in Port Elizabeth - the venue for Saturday's Tri-Nations encounter with New Zealand - De Villiers suggested the game was more about the bigger picture of the looming World Cup.
This match, despite the Boks having lost a record seven successive Tri-Nations Tests, is about building towards the World Cup campaign in New Zealand - starting in less than a month.
"Listen to me," De Villiers told the media gathering: "We have a World Cup plan, if our minds were only on Saturday we would upset our wider plans.
"A victory would serve its purpose as part of the World Cup plan, too because when you are doing your general planning you don't plan for losses.
"We weren't happy with defeat against Australia last weekend, but we did a lot of things right in the Test - small things we've really been working hard on - and that was good to see.
"This weekend we have to be even better in our execution."
It has also been revealed that Bok captain John Smit is unlikely to feature in the PE Test, despite getting a favourable medical report on his injured elbow.
Smit missed training on Monday, which was put down to a cold rather than the elbow injury.
The medical report said Smit would be available for selection this weekend, but De Villiers suggested that was unlikely and a planning meeting back in May had earmarked this game as one he would sit out.
"In a team meeting [in PE on Monday] I told the guys that we are making great strides towards the World Cup, just not on scoreboard! We are still on track.
"A main goal we put on paper on May 4 is 'Everybody knows, nobody guesses', and everybody knows what is going on and that is very good.
"The mood I can tell you is that we are all satisfied that we are on track and that only the scoreboard stands between us and success.
"The guys are waiting for the big moment [that will change our fortunes] to come, it is overdue now."
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