A maiden Rugby Championship crown symbolises the fruit of inspired labour from a Springbok side reborn under Rassie Erasmus.
Saturday’s 46-13 annihilation of Argentina in Salta saw South Africa cement themselves as legitimate World Cup contenders as they ended a 10-year trophy drought.
It was vital for Rassie Erasmus and his men to finish the job in Argentina after having walloped the Wallabies in Johannesburg and played to a thrilling draw with the All Blacks in Wellington.
That they did it in such emphatic fashion (the biggest winning margin of the Erasmus era) put a bow on a brilliant, unbeaten campaign, and confirmed above all else that the Boks are back.
South Africa made more strides in the truncated tournament than they did in many full seasons over the past couple of years.
Erasmus deserves enormous credit for the team’s resurgence, taking a back to the future approach by basing his game plan on the Boks’ traditional strengths while adding new pages to the playbook.
He had a clear vision and plan since day one, the direction the Boks had long lacked. He immediately put structures in place, regularly met with Super Rugby coaches to ensure everyone’s on the same page to best benefit South African rugby, and made significant changes to the squad to best suit his style of play.