This was as tough as we expected - a real test match rather than a try fest. The red card for Bismarck du Plessis will be the main talking point, which is a little unfortunate. His first yellow card was slightly harsh and it was compounded when he got sent off in the second half. The Springbok enforcer hit Dan Carter hard and high but there was not a lot in it - he managed to blindside Carter and catch him off balance.
Du Plessis' elbow on Liam Messam looked bad, though 99 per cent of the time in test matches he would have got away with it but the previous incident counted against him. You certainly couldn't question his impact on the game - he was a potent force on attack and scored a powerful try.
Beauden Barrett stepped in nicely. He looked remarkably composed which was impressive as many of his previous All Black appearances have been late in the game with the result beyond doubt. Sam Cane also impressed me. I have been critical of him in the past but he scored a good try and lasted well in a demanding game against a physical pack.
It's a good sign when young players can be such able deputies for men like McCaw and Carter.
The Springboks will be disappointed and realise they blew a great chance for a rare win at Eden Park. They overdid their celebrations after the first scrum, which steeled the All Blacks to do better from then on. And they certainly did, with Dane Coles anchoring a strong scrum.