It's becoming increasingly hard to beat the All Blacks.
South Africa threw the kitchen sink at them last night, were brilliant at the breakdown, mixed their stoicism with adventure and were dominant on the touchline - and they still lost.
It's tempting to worry about how often the All Blacks have scraped home this year, tempting to believe they arein danger of being toppled because they have been defending their line for dear life deep into the game. But the alternative is to see their bravery and character, to be amazed at their depths of mental reserves and physical resilience.
They lost Ma'a Nonu to a serious arm injury at halftime. There was no confirmation last night but it was thought that he'd probably broken his arm - he still thought to leave his shirt behind for opposite Jean de Villiers before going to hospital.
Losing Nonu was something they couldn't afford to happen, given they had no specialist midfield cover on the bench. They took a calculated gamble that they wanted an extra option in the back three and that Ben Smith would have to shift into the midfield if there were any dramas.
Well, they got the drama they didn't want that could have been massively unsettling. But Smith was fantastic. He was probably the man of the match - just ahead of South African No8 Duane Vermuelen.
That defiance shown by Smith, that refusal to be overawed by the enormity of the task - that sums up this All Black side.
"You have to admire the fortitude," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said. "They found a way to win."
They did that, even when the pressure was relentless.
"It was a hell of a battle out there and I thought it was a game of two halves scenario," said All Black captain Richie McCaw. "We were on the back foot for much of the first half and were just hanging in there a little bit. But I was proud of the way the guys gutsed out the win.
"I think both teams will feel they made mistakes but a lot of that comes from the defence. There were some pretty big tackles out there and a lot of the guys were desperate. It reveals the character of the team when you dig deep like that. We just had to hold our nerve and keep tackling."
Hansen was equally pleased with the determination but not so pleased with the kicking. That was the area he felt the All Blacks got wrong.
There was judicious use early but, as the game wore on, it was overdone. There were times when it was crying out for the ball to be kept in hand but the little kick was put in instead. There was a bit too much hoof and hope as well, and that ended up putting the All Blacks under pressure.
"The character of the side has been tested a few times and they keep coming up with an A-plus pass mark," said Hansen. "We put ourselves under pressure, especially with our kicking.
"We could have put them more into the corner than the middle of the park. We kicked in the wrong areas and at the wrong times. But we showed a lot of courage to keep them out and that is one thing we were proud of. They could easily have scored right at the very end of it and won it."