Judging by the ferocity and intensity of yesterday's test match, we watched the No 1 and No 2 teams in the world say to each other: "Let's go".
They battled relentlessly for 80 minutes and, while the All Blacks won, it would have been a pleasure to watch for fans of either side.
Springboks supporters may be disappointed in the outcome but they can hardly fault their side's efforts. They dominated for large patches and would have been left with a feeling familiar for any team who pushed the All Blacks close in recent years.
That's a feeling of frustration because, as well as they played, the Springboks must wonder just what they needed to do to walk away with a win.
Speaking to Steve Hansen after the game, he suggested that the All Blacks might not have been the best team on the park and, as an objective observer, I felt the same way.
I've said this time and again but this All Black team's biggest strength is their ability to find a way to win when they have a day when they're dominated by the opposition or a day when they're below their best.
That was certainly the case at Ellis Park. The All Blacks were short of their best, they were restricted in the way they could play by the opposition, but they still found a way to win. If you have such belief in your team, how on earth does an opposition side break it down?
Some may say the All Blacks stole victory but it wasn't unjust - it was because of their belief and Richie McCaw's captaincy. There's always an inevitability, the opposition must sense, that this All Black team will never say die.
In the four years since the last World Cup, they've been in plenty of positions where they should have lost test matches, but they will simply not allow defeat. Any coach would love to have that drive and that nobility within their team - when, in tough times, the players grow an extra limb and aren't prepared to relent.
Heyneke Meyer would have learned that the hard way but, in the long term, South African rugby is in a good place with him in charge.
Last week I was reasonably critical of South Africa's tactics in the final 20 minutes of their loss to Australia, and I mentioned the fact that Meyer made some significant changes that altered the outcome of the game.
After yesterday's game, I was walking out of the tunnel when I bumped into Heyneke and he said, "I respect what you're saying but this is what I was thinking and why I made the decisions." And, importantly for South African rugby, he offered a sound and sensible explanation of what he wants his team to do.
The game in the republic is in safe hands because Meyer has those strong ideas, which were only reinforced by the way the Springboks played against the All Blacks.
South Africa were traditionally known for employing a territory-based game, playing field position and winning by dominating the set piece. But in the last fortnight, with the way Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende and Handre Pollard have played, South African rugby appears in a better state than it's ever been.
They now have a mentality to play the game - not to just play defensively. Meyer knows where he wants his South African team to go and he knows how they need to play to beat the All Blacks. But, as Hansen's men showed at Ellis Park, that knowledge is only half the battle.