This was confirmed by results in the last round of the tournament highlighted by the All Blacks' 40-14 bonus point victory over the Wallabies in Auckland.
It was the closest tournament for several years with the title only being decided by the result of the twelfth and last match of the tournament in Durban between South Africa and Argentina. South Africa had to win with a bonus point and by a margin of 39 points. The 38-21 win without a bonus point was not enough in the end.
The All Blacks and Springboks went into the last and sixth round tied on 14 points each, with Australia on 10 points and Argentina on 9 points. Mathematically all teams still had an outside chance of lifting the trophy depending on the results of the final round.
It all came down to bonus points in the end as both New Zealand and South Africa won four matches in the series. New Zealand finished the championship with 19 points, courtesy of that bonus point win in Auckland, to South Africa's 18.