Here's the good news about the All Blacks.

One, they generally lose once a year. On the way to the northern tour, at the end of the northern tour, in a dead rubber test in the Bledisloe, at altitude at the end of the Rugby Championship in South Africa.

Two, it's good for the global game. To have a side so dominant there is no proof they can be beaten is not good for interest in the sport generally. Sport is at its best when the outcome is not always known.


Three, even though they did lose, look what it took.

One of our greatest rivals playing out of their skin, and an All Blacks side doing things they don't normally do. In other words, everything has to be going your way. A tail wind, the stars aligned, and all the luck in the world, and you still just get home by two points.

So yes, the All Blacks can be beaten, but it takes an awful lot to do it. Which means we'd be pretty churlish to be too down about the loss.

And we can look to the Barrett family a bit can't we? As gracious as Steve Hansen might want to be, I'm pretty sure Beauden knows the ground reasonably well, and it's not like it was blowing a southerly.

And his performance alone was more than the difference.

Or you might like to look at the other Barrett, who decided that a quick lineout pass directly to a member of the opposition looked like a good idea. That singular action of madness was more than the difference as well.

Where you could defend one of their questionable actions is at the end.

Where was the drop goal? Fair question, but this was the side that had had the ball and territory. This was the side that had just moments before driven across the line in a way that only an All Blacks' pack can.


So, given the same scenario to win the game, roll it or kick it, I would have tried to score the try.

Was there a risk in both? Yes.

But which was the greater risk? A drop goal from a bloke who'd had a bad night and a tactic rarely, if ever, used? Or a rolling pack repeating something that had already worked and in which we know what we are doing?

And if it had worked we'd all be lauding them and calling them geniuses.

But here, ultimately, is the upshot for me.

What an enthralling game. What a brilliant sporting outing. What a fantastically entertaining couple of hours. What extraordinary value for money.

How long has it been since we have sat down with the very real prospect of the All Blacks pushed to the limit, and as it turned out unable to find the magic to win it?

How long has it been when we don't see the second half explosion to either kill the deficit, or run away on the scoreboard?

How long has it been since every single minute counted for something exciting?

And the South African reaction, faces, and tears told you all you needed to know as to what it all meant.

It was brilliant, good for the game, and good for the All Blacks.

And that's because they are the best side the game has probably ever seen, and sides like that need to be feared next time out.

I wouldn't want to be Argentina.