But, as Andrews points out, no Springbok team has ever whitewashed a Lions side in a Test series and the visitors would no doubt want to avoid joining the Class of 2005 that was unceremoniously â00Blackwashedâ00 by the Kiwis last time out.
â00Donâ00t underestimate the value of pride and egos,â0 explained Andrews, â00in that respect there is still plenty to play for (on Saturday).
â00In fact, there is lots to play for, for both teams, as there was in 1997 when we were 2-0 down going into the final Test â00 ironically also in Johannesburg.â0
Andrews, a 77-Test veteran, believes the 2009 Boks-Lions series has been an â00interestingâ0 contest thus farâ0¦ and he is expecting much the same at Coca-Cola Park on Saturday afternoon.
â00Itâ00s funny, you know,â0 began Andrews. â00In 1997 we played all the rugby, outscoring the Lions by nine tries to three; yet we lost the series to some good goal-kicking and a late drop-goal.
â00Now, 12 years later we were outplayed in the final 30 minutes in Durban and the first 50 minutes in Pretoria â00 yet, a last-minute kick handed us a series win with one Test to play. I wonâ00t lie, I quite enjoyed the irony of it all â00 itâ00s a bit of payback for â0097 when the shoe was well and truly on the other foot!â0
Mark Andrews knows more about South African rugby than most
Much like in 1997, when there was plenty of pressure on the then new Springbok coach Carel du Plessis, plenty of focus on 2009 has been on Bok boss Peter de Villiers.
Only this time, the pressures are of a different variety.
The Bok coach, who took over from Jake White at the start of 2008, has been under fire for some of his post-match comments in the aftermath of Schalk Burgerâ00s yellow card â00 and subsequent eight-week suspension â00 for eye gouging in the second Test.
â00With regards to Schalk, whatâ00s done is done,â0 said the former Sharks stalwart rather firmly, â00the Bakkies (Botha) suspension, however, is a different story altogether.
â00I think people are missing the point in still focusing on Schalkâ00s incidentâ0¦Bakkies has been harshly dealt with, he shouldnâ00t have been punished for a legitimate clean out at a ruck.
â00(Springbok assistant coach) Gary Gold has said he coaches his players to clean out in that wayâ0¦Yet, now, because somebody has picked up an injury, Bakkies has been punished. I think whoever cited him, and suspended him, is setting a dangerous precedent.â0
At the time of writing, Botha was still in with a shout of being named in the Bok line-up for Saturdayâ00s series finale, as De Villiers and co. have appealed his two-week suspension.
And, looking ahead to this final battle in Johannesburg, Andrews is expecting the home side to prevail once again.
â00There are two reasons to back the Boks on Saturday,â0 said Andrews, who famously played at No8 in the 1995 World Cup Final against New Zealand â00 despite having played all his senior rugby in the second row up till then.
â00Firstly, Ellis Park is always a happy hunting ground for the Boks. And, secondly, I think the Boks will be under far less pressure than the Lions and they will â00 as a result â00 be able to play more rugby and express themselves out there.
â00I remember in 1997 when we went into the last Test 2-nil downâ0¦There was plenty of pressure on us to avoid the whitewash and I think the Lions will feel similar pressures â00 especially after also losing 3-0 to the All Blacks in 2005.
â00Either way, it should be a good match, as both teams will have a go, but Iâ00m expecting the Boks to take it and make it 3-0.â0
Andrews is glad to see SA exacting revenge for the 1997 loss to the Lions
Andrews played his Test-match rugby between 1994 and 2001 and he remains the sixth most-capped Springbok (and fourth most-capped forward) in the history of South African rugby.
A colossus in SAâ00s 1995 World Cup win, a member of the Bok squad that went down to the Lions in 1997, a Tri-Nations veteran and a key man for the Boks in the 1999 World Cup; Andrews, now 37, is better qualified than most to speak about the South African Class of 2009.
â00This series has been a good way of preparing the Springboks for the Tri-Nations,â0 he began, â00but make no mistake â00 itâ00s been hard and the Boks have played well in patches only.
â00The Aussies and the Kiwis, on the other hand, have played lower profile matches and the Wallabies, in particular, have gone about their business rather quietly.
â00Itâ00s not very normal for New Zealand to lose a â00warm-upâ00 Test in June, before the Tri-Nations, but they like being the underdogs and talking up the opposition, only to hammer you by 20 points on the Saturday! They will ask some questions of themselves in the meantime, but make no mistakeâ0¦ they will always be a factor come the Tri-Nations.â0