Springboks coach Allister Coetzee believes he has come through the toughest period of his career after a miserable 2016 that almost saw him lose his job.
Coetzee's role in charge of South Africa looked under serious threat after just four wins in 2016, and a disappointing Rugby Championship that saw them lose to Argentina.
There was also a narrow defeat to Australia before two thrashing against New Zealand – the latter seeing the All Blacks win 57-15 in Durban on their way to the title.
It has been a different story in 2017, though, as Coetzee has revived the flailing Boks with five wins and a draw from their six matches, a run that has moved them into third place in the world rankings.
They face their biggest test of the year in Albany on Saturday, however, as they face the All Blacks for the first time since that drubbing in October, but Coetzee is pleased with how his side have reacted to a frustrating 12 months.
"It's been bloody challenging," Coetzee - who has made three changes to his side for this weekend's clash - told a media conference.
"Coaching at international level, especially with the rugby-mad supporters that we have, managing the moods of millions of people is never an easy job, but it comes with the job.
"I'm just pleased that we have changed it in a way.
"We made a few tweaks at the beginning of the year and our time for preparation in 2017 was really good with the camps we had pre the French series.
"We spent time on our team environment, which is a massive thing because we were a team in transition.
"You can see how the players have started to enjoy the game. I'm also pleased to note that our players have never been in a better conditioning shape than they are now.
"I'm happy with where we are but we're not there yet. We'll test ourselves against the world's best this weekend."
|Yankees All-Star Judge undergoes shoulder surgery|
|Griezmann needs support of Atletico and fans – Simeone|
|Monaco paid for mistakes in Champions League exit - Jardim|
|We had to rely on personal pride - Berizzo praises Sevilla´s stunning comeback|
|Championship Review: Coleman loses first Sunderland game, Fulham win nine-goal thriller|
|City fans get first sight of local star they crave in Phil Foden|
|Gunes wants more after historic Besiktas Champions League qualification|
|Allegri plays down Dybala-Messi comparisons|
|Extra rest helped Rose shine in Dortmund – Pochettino|
|Zidane: We knew Ronaldo, Benzema goals would come|
|It feels like we lost - Klopp frustrated at Liverpool´s second-half collapse|
|It depends on Foden - Guardiola puts ball in teenager´s court|
|Siddle excited by Smith´s duel with Root|
|Postecoglou leaves Australia post|
|Ronaldo overtakes Messi in Champions League goalscoring race|
|Manchester City 1 Feyenoord 0: Sterling strikes late as top spot is clinched|
|Sevilla 3 Liverpool 3: Klopp´s side fail to survive Spanish inquisition|
|Borussia Dortmund 1 Tottenham 2: Son grabs winner as Spurs seal top spot|
|Napoli 3 Shakhtar Donetsk 0: Insigne stunner helps keep knockout hopes alive|
|APOEL 0 Real Madrid 6: Record-breaking Ronaldo and Benzema send holders through in style|
|Monaco 1 RB Leipzig 4: Werner brace dumps Ligue 1 champions out|
|Memorable Ashes Moments: Triple wicket-maiden for destructive Johnson|
|Ronaldo breaks record for Champions League goals in a calendar year|
|´World´s Fastest Gamer´ wins McLaren F1 simulator role|
|History against England in Brisbane, as Cook targets Gabba milestone - the Ashes in Opta facts|
|I wanted to cry with Buffon - Rakitic sympathy for Italy great|
|Defiant Smalling responds to ´surprise´ England omission|
|Hughes ruled out of Samoa clash as Watson, Joseph omitted|
|MLB great Joe Morgan urges voters not to elect steroid users to Baseball HOF|
|Neuer ´on schedule´ but Heynckes won´t rush Bayern star|
|Messi contract saga not swaying Barcelona boss Valverde|
|Spartak Moscow 1 Maribor 1: Stoppage-time equaliser gives Russians everything to do at Anfield|
|Besiktas 1 Porto 1: Talisca leveller sends hosts through|
|Grand slams to reduce seeds from 32 to 16 from 2019|
|Mkhitaryan questions leave Mourinho riled|
|Jones out of Basel, Brighton games but Mourinho hopeful on Bailly|
|The Scrum-back Kid? Philips answers Scarlets SOS|
|Moore to retire from all rugby following Murrayfield Test|
|The Ashes: Australia and England leap into chasm of unknowns|
|Conte unhappy with Chelsea´s fixture congestion|
|Pepe tells Ronaldo: Come to Besiktas!|
|Clement expects Abraham to shake off back injury for Bournemouth clash|
|Oddo replaces sacked Del Neri at Udinese|
|F1 Raceweek: Contract talks for Hamilton, Alonso at Le Mans and Kvyat´s snub|
|Bartomeu hints at January Barcelona signings|
|Davis Love III to have hip-replacement surgery|
|Massa eyes final flourish in Abu Dhabi|
|Bears TE Zach Miller out of hospital three weeks after serious injury|
|Emery defends ´responsible´ Neymar from lifestyle criticism|
|Wales lose Williams and Cuthbert for All Blacks clash|
|Australia enlist Bolt to sharpen up Ashes preparations|
|Wimbledon will not be the same without her – Duchess pays tribute to Novotna|
|Del Neri sacked by Udinese|
|Everton striker Niasse facing two-match ban after FA diving charge|
|Wyatt makes history as England salvage Women´s Ashes draw|
|Lampard excited by English clubs in Champions League|
|Kvitova ready for ´second career´ to start in 2018|
|Williams deny Kubica deal has been agreed|
|Thiago and Coman back for Bayern´s trip to Anderlecht|
|Prior launches second Lyon attack|
|Dybala hails Messi as ´our Maradona´, wants to play with Neymar|
|Stokes has let England down - Warner wades in ahead of Ashes opener|
|Sherwood talks up Spurs as potential Champions League winners|
|Borussia Dortmund on the brink as Real Madrid eye progress - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Hughton hopeful on video assistance after Brighton denied penalty|
|Klopp staying calm over Salah form|
|Irving leads Celtics to 16th straight win|
|He Said What?! The Best NFL quotes of week 11|
|They don´t have magic balls – Cook plays down Australia pace attack|
|Falcons hold off Seahawks|