The All Blacks lifted the Tri-Nations trophy after coming from behind to beat the Springboks by 29-22.
It was a classic Test Match, ferociously competitive, abrasive and physical, and it looked as though South Africa had done enough to record their first victory of their campaign.
But two late tries in the last five minutes, firstly by Richie McCaw to level the scores at 22-22 and then by Israel Dagg in the final play, broke South African hearts and confirmed the All Blacks as champions.
The Boks seemed to have found their structure again: several huge hits to make you wince, running the ball when it’s on, and relying a deadly marksman in Morne Steyn to kick the points from almost anywhere.
It was the second match in a row where the All Blacks have looked beatable, but the fact that they still maintained their unbeaten record is ominous. Nobody can argue that they don’t deserve the Tri-Nations title, and they have once again raised the bar to which the rest of the world must aspire.
Richie McCaw is looking more imposing and more influential than ever before, even against the Bok back row of Juan Smith, Schalk Burger and Pierre Spies who were all hugely effective at the breakdown. Against lesser opposition, he could run riot and almost with the game single-handedly – and that will be a real concern for northern hemisphere sides this Autumn.
The Tri-Nations rumbles on whilst the rugby world wonders whether New Zealand can keep up this form all the way to the Rugby World Cup next year.