James Mortimer 07.Oct.2013Getty Images
Quick fire tries to Bryan Habana had the All Blacks on the back foot early, and while the Springboks were able to become the first team in nearly three years to score a bonus point worthy four scores against New Zealand, the visitors responded with five of their own.
It was an open game by both teams, and for the second straight tournament the All Blacks were able to put in special performances on the road.
More importantly the World Champions were able to play with the expressive style that is their preferred approach, as the Springboks confidently, and successfully, took the All Blacks on at their own game.
However McCaw noted that his team were able to put in a match where they twice lost players to the sinbin.
“We had to dig deep,” McCaw said.
“Both teams came here willing to play. We had 20 minutes with 14 men, add into that a bit of travel, it was a very satisfying win.”
The All Blacks had to pull back an early deficit, but made a crucial score thanks to two-try hero Liam Messam, who crossed for a crucial try to give the champions a lead at halftime.
“Going behind we could easily have got flustered, but the guys hung in there,” McCaw said.
“We took our chances really well and there were times when we were under a lot of pressure and then got a critical turnover.”
“The try on halftime was critical, I'm sure it changed their halftime talk. But credit to the Boks, they came out in the second half and scored again quickly, though we were able to keep ourselves ahead in the game.”
McCaw was happy to play in a match he clearly enjoyed despite looking out on his feet, saying that he, like many of the squad, had vivid memories of another All Blacks match at the ground.
“These are ones you want to play in, this is why you play the game of rugby,” McCaw said.
“Growing up there are places you want to play and to get a chance today and to get a win here is pretty special, I remember watching the 1995 World Cup final and thinking that one day it would be awesome to play there.”