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Breath-taking Messam relieved

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Sportal.co.nz     16 Sep 2013     Getty Images

Messam was almost charged at by hooker Bismarck du Plessis' elbow as the Springboks were on attack. The Springbok was penalised for what was a shot in Messam's windpipe that left the flanker gasping for air.

"I was worried for a bit because I couldn't breathe," said Messam.

"It wasn't sore. At the time I couldn't breathe, I thought I was going to choke."

After receiving medical attention the flanker was virtually good as new as the hosts downed a physical South Africa side 29-15 to claim top spot in the Rugby Championship and the Freedom Cup at Eden Park on Saturday.

Messam didn't talk about the incident too much. He saw it as more of a work-on for his tackling techniques as he played his first match in five weeks.

"It was a physical game, it always is," Messam added. "The last four or five weeks I've had a great opportunity to get the body right. It was tough on the lungs but I'm better for it."

Conquering a physical South Africa side would only happen if the All Blacks were to play with one way – to fight fire with fire.

With another match between the two sides to play, Ellis Park hosts the All Blacks on October 6 (NZT), Messam said matching the physicality and intensity of their opponents would unlock a treasured victory in Johannesburg.

The match was also a milestone for Messam ahead of the Test as he led his side in the haka ahead of kick-off.

He revealed he had known about the duties since the team was named but was cautiously on standby as he had pulled a hamstring.