New Zealand completed their Rugby Championship campaign with a 100% record as they withstood a South African fightback to win 25-24 in a tight contest.
It was a thrilling game where the home side went some way towards regaining their dignity following their humiliating 57-0 defeat in the away leg last month.
Coach Steve Hansen has underlined the All Blacks' ruthless nature by arguably naming his strongest available team for their Rugby Championship finale against South Africa, with all of his rested players coming back into the starting side. They played their hearts out there and we just came up two points short.
Team: 15-Andries Coetzee, 14-Dillyn Leyds, 13-Jesse Kriel, 12-Jan Serfontein, 11-Courtnall Skosan, 10-Elton Jantjies, 9-Ross Cronje, 8-Francois Louw, 7-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6-Siya Kolisi, 5-Lood de Jager, 4-Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3-Ruan Dreyer, 2-Malcolm Marx, 1-Steven Kitshoff Replacements: 16-Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17-Trevor Nyakane, 18-Wilko Louw, 19-Franco Mostert, 20-Jean-Luc du Preez, 21-Rudy Paige, 22-Handre Pollard, 23-Damian de Allende.
"I think the Boks' showed their intent but I think our egos maybe got in the way of what perhaps was a smart decision", said Read.More news: Giants WR Carted Off With Left Ankle Injury
"In both matches against Australia we were in it and could have won it, but did not". We can fix some things, like the scrum.
"We had them under pressure at times, but you can not give the ball away against New Zealand", Coetzee added. "We kicked well, we only had one contestable that did not work out and in the end, we were two points short".
"There is no flawless formula in this game, we are building variety".
As the All Blacks prepare for the next World Cup in 2019, at which they will be aiming for an unprecedented hat-trick of titles, Hansen said he was pleased some of his younger players had been exposed to a high-quality, high-pressure worldwide.
Marx was the standout player as he was menacing at the breakdown winning crucial turnovers and was imposing with ball in hand. Very good teams find a way to win and New Zealand again did this at Newlands.