Coach Ian Foster said he would love nothing more than to oversee a win in his hometown. Hamilton was vital for them in their bid to secure the Championship.
No side had cemented themselves into the lead this year and this Test, and the two Bledisloe Cup Tests remaining against Australia were vital for the All Blacks.
Topping the list in securing a win was more consistent play in the final quarter.
They became flustered in the latter part of their loss to Argentina in Christchurch Test, which narrowed their options in the final stages.
That was why consistency of composure in the last 20 minutes was a work-on in the side's development. The lesson from the win over South Africa at Ellis Park was the composure shown, even under scoreboard pressure, by sticking to trusting their decisions.
"Last week, we went away from that a little bit. It is something we are working hard on to grow the confidence in the last part of the game to make sure we embrace those moments but also stay clear in our decision-making.
"Great All Black teams have always been good in that last 20 minutes at backing themselves and doing the right thing. We got it right in South Africa, but wrong in Christchurch."
The decision to start an unchanged XV resulted from the performance during the early stages in Christchurch.
"We kept them in the game with some inaccuracies on that off-side line which was frustrating, and they went 3, 6, 9, 12, and stayed in the hunt.
"But, overall, I thought the scrum was strong, the lineout functioned well, our carries were going good, we were seeing the kicking space, and we were doing a lot of good stuff.
"We're backing that [in their choice of team], and making sure we grow, and get a few more lessons from that as well."
Foster said changes in the coaching structure were another reason not ro make changes because they didn't want to change all the variables.
"We feel we need to cement some things we are doing now. We're as frustrated as everyone after last week's game because, based on what we saw on the park, we felt we did enough to put ourselves in a winning position, but weren't ruthless enough to do it."
Speaking to the changes on the bench, he said lock Brodie Retallick's place was a return-to-play situation. They had been desperate to get flanker Dalton Papali'i on the field because he was a player they had a lot of confidence in, and it was a chance for him to get some minutes.
First five-eighths Beauden Barrett was also coming back from injury, while hooker Dane Coles had been making his presence felt in clarity sessions and other things during the week and was ready to go.