Poite doesn't spell doom and gloom for Springboks

England captain Owen Farrell will be desperate not to raise the ire of Romain Poite in South Africa Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Following the high of South Africa's win over England last weekend, during which Kiwi referee Ben O'Keeffe kept a largely low profile, the prospect of Romain Poite this weekend in Bloemfontein may have the Springboks' fans cursing.

It's a fact that South African rugby fans have a love-hate relationship with Poite, in that they love to hate the 42-year-old Frenchman who has overseen nine Springbok Tests previously.

It might thus surprise them that the Boks have a winning record when Poite has been in charge... but only just, 5 wins vs. 4 defeats. There, though, are some positives to glean from the detail within the Poite-Springboks history.

Poite -- a former plain-clothes detective with the state police in Toulouse -- first took charge of a Springboks Test during the ill-fated 2011 Rugby World Cup, but it happened to be the 49-3 thumping Peter de Villiers' men imposed on Fiji in Pool D.

He initially remained in the good books of De Villiers' successor Heyneke Meyer too, following a comfortable 30-17 victory over Scotland in June 2013. However, three of the four remaining Tests Poite took charge of during Meyer's tenure ended with the Springboks losing -- most significantly their first-ever loss to Argentina (25-37) a month before the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

That all said, and bearing in mind this weekend's Test at Free State Stadium, Poite has only refereed two Springbok mid-year Tests. Significantly, they have won on both occasions; the aforementioned 2013 Test against Scotland and then the 38-16 victory over Wales which opened their international season a year later.

Also, despite bearing witness to the Springboks' record defeat to Wales (13-27) in late 2016, Allister Coetzee's Boks won both Tests Poite took charge of last year -- against Argentina and Italy.

Meanwhile, England have their own chequered history with Poite, with their tour captain Owen Farrell being sin-binned by him at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and he telling them "I'm the referee, I'm not a coach" when Italy outfoxed them during the last year's Six Nations.

All told, Rassie Erasmus squad should fancy their chances of both winning again with the Frenchman as referee and -- more importantly -- wrapping up the series in the process.

*Poite will be assisted by Glen Jackson (New Zealand) and last week's man-in-the-middle Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand) in Bloemfontein, while Ireland's Simon McDowell will be the television match official.