We were so close
The Kiwis reasserted their position as favourites for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup with a close 26-21 win away to rivals South Africa in the Tri-Nations.
After a pair of excellent victories over England, overturning Australia and a dominant showing by their sides in the Super 14, the Springboks have assumed the mantle of the All Blacks' closest challengers.
But Graham Henry's side recovered after trailing 21-12 late in the second half to silence the kings park crowd and claim only their second win in their last five attempts in the country.
South Africa dominated the early exchanges, but appeared to have spared the All Blacks as the game headed for half-time with penalties from Percy Montgomery and Ruan Pienaar cancelled out by a pair from Dan Carter.
However in the final minute of the half, flanker Schalk Burger ensured a deserved interval lead for his side and he edged his way over at the back of a trundling driving maul.
An Aaron Mauger drop-goal cut the deficit to two points, but the Leicester-bound centre then saw his attempt to pass out of a tackle lodge in the grateful hands of Butch James who raced in under the posts to extend the lead to 18-9, which was classic.
Montgomery and Carter exchanged penalties, but it seemed the odds on New Zealand ending their 20-year wait for the World Cup in France this autumn were set to lengthen as the game entered the final 12 minutes with the Springboks clutching a healthy nine-point advantage.
A powerhouse break from Rodney So'oialo shot through the South African defence and back row partner Richie McCaw scooped up the loose ball to dot down and start the Springbok nerves rattling.
Carter's successful conversion left his side still two points short of South Africa, but they seized the lead just three minutes later when Leon MacDonald's counterattack was rounded off by winger Joe Rokocoko.
The last twenty minutes was critical and we were not fit enough ,our replacements could not cope with the All Black hype e.g Steyn we were so close but we made more mistakes than the Kiwis and we paid for it.
South African Rugby homepage