I had my reservations about the Springboks before this test - and I expressed them publicly, so please don't think I'm being wise after the fact.

I suspected they weren't as good as everyone said they were. They have made some strides, yes, but once the All Blacks got going, it was clear they were in a different league.

What was the foundation of this remarkable victory? The key was the All Blacks' ability to do the basics well and at this, they must be considered the best in the world by far.

I could talk about the razzle-dazzle and the brilliance of the All Blacks as individuals and a team, but it starts with the simple things: passing, tackling and kicking.


The All Blacks play with such fluidity that you may not notice the accuracy of their passing, but it's what sets them apart.

It happens with a natural instinct and skill set - all the passes are accurate and in front whether it is a forward or back involved. The micro skill of the forwards interchanging right on the contact line, in which they slip a pass either before or after contact, is remarkable.

Everything flows from that. But with South Africa, some passing was to a teammate's shoulder. Players aren't punching on to the ball and are compromised as attackers. It is a small, subtle part of the All Blacks' game but something they do very well.

Another is what they do on defence. Yes, they make tackles but there is an intelligence to the defence.

It's about players making good decisions. How and where are they tackling? Are they hitting the ball and slowing the resulting breakdown, or are they chopping the legs and going for turnovers?

It's also about whether or not to go to the breakdown. South Africa time and again sent players into the breakdown when they didn't need to. Often, the All Blacks only had the tackler involved.

If the opposition has secured the ball and you can't turn it over, it's better to be on your feet than flop into a ruck. Often when the Boks got the ball, they had 14 All Blacks on their feet staring at them.

All Blacks loose forward Sam Cane comments on the test match against South Africa last night, after the All Blacks big win. / Brett Phibbs

The All Blacks' kicking game is very accurate - Beauden Barrett and Damian McKenzie found space and grass with their kicks. Aaron Smith's box kicks gave players the opportunity to challenge for the ball. It all adds up.

Finally, you look at the set piece and for all of Dane Coles' ability to transform the hooker position with his running and passing game, his ability to scrum and throw the ball into the lineout is often overlooked. But he's so good at it. He is the most accurate lineout thrower in the game.

In the opening minutes, the All Blacks scrum was in a little trouble, but they fixed it, and fast, and that's an indication of the leadership within the team and their understanding of the basics.

The scrum was a potential issue and they knew it could have caused them difficulties but it was an area in which over the whole test they arguably had the better of the Boks in the finish.

Rugby is built on these foundations. Do them and you have a chance to turn on the sort of entertainment the All Blacks showed at QBE Stadium.

This was a reality check for the Boks, I think everyone can see that.

The challenge for them now is how they go about fixing it and in particular their adherence to the basics.