It was hard not to be slightly worried in the early stages of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup opener against the Springboks at the weekend - but if the emphatic victory in Yokohama taught us one thing, it's that wresting the Webb Ellis trophy from New Zealand's hands will take something very special.
The Springboks were dominating proceedings in the first 20 minutes and were playing exceptionally well. We hardly had any possession and, in fact, about halfway through that first half the All Blacks were looking ragged and all over the place.
What is now clear is that this was a deliberate attempt from the All Blacks to counter the Boks' relentless rush defence. They were playing this fast moving game, shifting the ball around, continuously changing direction in an attempt to draw the South Africans out of their very effective defence system and getting them to tire themselves out.
It worked a charm.
To win the big matches at the World Cup, you have to be patient in both attack and defence. Both the All Blacks' tries - to George Bridge and Scott Barrett – were as a result of quick turnover and counter-attacks and after the second the Boks were chasing shadows.
It was disappointing to see suggestions from South Africa that the All Blacks were guilty of foul play, with All Blacks captain Kieran Read being singled out for allegedly grabbing Springbok loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit around the neck late in the first half.
To me, this kind of finger-pointing days after a match is very selective and smacks of sour grapes.
If anything, the incident could've resulted in a penalty and, if referee Jerome Garces was having a particularly bad day, a yellow card.
But it didn't and he wasn't, so let's move on.
The incident didn't affect the outcome of the match and if we want to be really picky, we could identify half a dozen moments where Garces could have penalised either side.
That would have spoiled what was a fantastic match and, besides, referees are already making some weak calls on yellow and red cards - remember Sonny Bill Williams' red card in the second test against the British and Irish Lions in 2017?
Back to Saturday's match, and there were certainly a few areas of concern. The All Blacks went off the boil in the scrums late in the second half and that would have been noted by the coaching staff – and their next opponents.
But, the All Blacks undoubtedly had the biggest game in the first round of fixtures, and just about every single player put in a solid performance.
They have set the early pace and it will take something extraordinary for anyone else to keep up.
From what I've seen not many - if any - of the other teams have what it takes - France managed to escape with a couple of late penalties against Argentina, Ireland didn't really have to turn up against the Scots, and judging by their performance against Fiji, the Wallabies won't have a long tournament.
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