Kieran Read's All Blacks — and millions of fans in Japan and cheering on at home — were last night basking in the glow of a victorious start to the Rugby World Cup campaign.
But it was anything but easy going.
The All Blacks toppled the Springboks 23-13 in their opening match of the tournament at International Stadium Yokohama.
Back home, All Black fans crammed into bars and sports clubs around the country, as well as watched the action from the comfort of their homes, for the clash of the rugby titans.
Those lucky enough to be in International Stadium were treated to a Bok-busting performance from the All Blacks who soaked up an early first-half onslaught from Siya Kolisi's men before cutting loose in sensational style.
The Boks wasted little time in opening the score, with Handre Pollard landing a penalty in the second minute.
Predictions of a tense tussle between the teams proved true, with a succession of bone-jarring hits as the sides traded blows in their 99th clash.
Richie Mo'unga levelled the score for the All Blacks with a penalty in the 23rd minute. And tries to George Bridge and Scott Barrett saw the ABs gain scoreboard domination.
The roar from the crowd in Yokohama as the All Blacks took a 17-3 lead — which they held at the break — would have been echoed in living rooms and bars around New Zealand.
While the All Blacks stood up to the best the Boks could offer in the first half, the same couldn't be said for Spark Sport's streaming service, with glitches it said impacted on a "small percentage" of customers seeing it make the decision to broadcast the second half live on TVNZ Duke.
The Boks scored first after an electric start to the second half, with Pieter-Steph du Toit crossing for a try, which Pollard converted.
A long-range Pollard dropped goal in the 59th minute drew the Boks closer at 17-13.
The All Blacks hit back with another Mo'unga penalty, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford among Kiwi fans in the crowd cheering on the three-pointer. Then a Beauden Barrett penaty increased the lead to 23-13, which they held to the final whistle.
The All Blacks' next Pool B clash is against minnows Canada at Oita Stadium on October 2.
The Wallabies had earlier opened up "Super Saturday" with a 39-21 win over Fiji, securing the victory after Fiji had looked like pulling off a stunning early tournament upset for almost three-quarters of the match. France then narrowly edged out Argentina 23-21.
Before the games kicked off, Rugby World Cup stars, including the All Blacks, were told not to use their phones at least an hour prior to clashes as administrators try to protect the sporting showpiece from corruption.
Players, coaches and management of the 20 teams received a briefing from World Rugby's integrity unit in the lead-up to the tournament.
The briefings included all players being told to ensure they switched their cellphones off at least an hour prior to kick-off of matches.
And according to media reports in the UK, squads have also been told that during the 2015 World Cup there were six reported suspicious approaches made to players and off-field management.
The briefings were part of pre-planned tournament protocol and are not linked to the scandal which shadowed Wales' World Cup build-up.
The team's attack coach Rob Howley returned home last week after rugby bosses launched an investigation into whether he had potentially breached World Rugby betting rules.
The WRU has described the allegations are "serious".
Players, coaches and match officials involved in professional rugby are banned from betting on the sport.