The All Blacks survived an early South African onslaught to emerge victorious in a pulsating spectacle in Johannesburg in South Africa. The All Blacks bench proved to be the difference with a late McCaw try giving his team the lead with debutant Lima Sopoaga adding the extras with the conversion and a late penalty to give the All Blacks a 27-20 win in The Rugby Championship Round 2.
The Springboks threw everything at the visitors in the first half and were rewarded with a great try to Willie Le Roux and looked to be heading towards the changing sheds with a halftime lead when the All Blacks showed their ability to score from long range with a well taken Ben Smith try and conversion to go into the changing sheds 10 all.
In the second half the All Blacks weathered the storm and showed their experience and leadership against a Springboks team intent on using the ball. The inability of the Springboks to dominate the All Blacks when Sam Whitelock was in the sinbin and the lack of cohesion in the Springboks when their substitutes came on in second half, showed something for the Springboks to work on. Should the Springboks have gone to uncontested scrums when they had a potential tighthead prop on the bench?
It was fitting that the winning try came from captain Richie McCaw in his final match on South African soil.
Both teams can take plenty from this game, the Springboks showed they can foot it with the All Blacks for large parts of the game, but for the second week in a row they lost after having an early lead.
Who was your man of the match?
The Springboks showed more potency and will be a threat at the Rugby World Cup with their midfield lynchpin Damian de Allende impressive.
For the All Blacks it is hard to go past winger Charles Piutau who must now be selected in the All Blacks Rugby World Cup squad.