He's also aware that while the Mbombela crowd had been impressive in their 10-26 loss on Saturday, the Johannesburg atmosphere will be another level up.
But he doesn't mind that. Playing against a team when everyone in the crowd was against the All Blacks was a challenge he enjoyed.
The first Test had been a demanding game, and physical up front.
He said the All Blacks had missed small moments when failing to get the jump on the Springboks.
"We didn't execute when we needed to and, unfortunately for us, in Test footy you only get one or two opportunities and if you miss the boat then that could be the game," he said.
"The boys tried their hearts out but came up short on the night. But credit to the Springboks, they played really well and we're looking forward to another week and to play at Ellis Park."
The All Blacks still had confidence, and they backed each other.
"We know what we're capable of and it's just not coming together at the moment, but we're working really hard and I'm sure it's coming around the corner, and I can't wait for that to click and all that hard work coming through."
"When I found out I was starting I was really excited, just for a couple of hours. I know there's a job I had to do. Reality kicked in and I just had to go out and do my bit to help the boys out."
He put his effort into ensuring all he required was in place while working with fellow hookers Dane Coles and Codie Taylor.
"That gave me the confidence to go out there and give it everything."
Part of that is his duty at the lineout throw, something in which he is yet to concede a lost throw this season. But he didn't take credit for that as there were several moving parts in lineouts; the locks, the callers.
"For me it's just my job to throw in the ball and I give credit to the other hookers we do throw-ins on our days off. It's just putting the hard yards in behind the scenes so when we come out to the field we execute but credit should go to the locks and people calling it because their job is to identify where the space is and make the hooker's job a lot easier," he said.
Any tweaks he had made in that area was more mental because he had over-thought things he couldn't control.
"I'm just focusing on what I can control. That is getting my process right and focusing on the process, not the outcome, of the throw. That helped me a lot.