Poise under pressure - three small words which capture the thrust of the All Blacks' distinction.
Three small words stressed the difference between the All Blacks and the Springboks at Ellis Park yesterday and spell out the challenge for everyone wanting to derail them at the approaching World Cup.
Five-eighths Lima Sopoaga was an immediate disciple with his composure on debut while utility wing Charles Piutau brought buckets of the same ingredient as he pushes his claims for RWC selection.
The Springboks dominated this test for such large chunks that they should have won and that inability to close the deal will test the resilience of the entire squad and add another pinch of doubt to their programme.
Bookend moments of this high-octane adventure underscored the small margins which allow the All Blacks to scrape out results when others would have cracked.
At the beginning the Boks were hyper-excited to make their mark, especially on the brand-new test frames of Sopoaga and James Broadhurst. An early gang-tackle on the latter was fierce but over-zealous and cost the Boks three points.
Then as the game wound down, captain Richie McCaw called for a lineout rather than kick for the draw.
In a variation of their 2011 World Cup ploy, the All Blacks stretched a gap in the lineout and replacement hooker Codie Taylor threw into that hole for acting halfback McCaw to catch and power over the line. Bingo. Poise under pressure.
All the practice, all the planning paid off. Taylor, the lineout deception and McCaw all delivered under extreme tension.
They were moments which blinked quickly at the 61,000-strong crowd packed into the Ellis Park citadel while most of that crowd should be wondering at a weird piece of Springbok thinking as the test moved into its final quarter.
They were three points ahead, under penalty advantage and hammering at the All Black line.
Sam Whitelock went to the bin for a professional foul so warrior Bok skipper Schalk Burger aborted a kick at goal and chose a scrum. The shunts were promising but unprofitable then replacement tighthead Vincent Koch had to be subbed for a head cut.
Original tighthead Jannie du Plessis could not return because of a bung knee so loosehead Trevor Nyakane was called up.
Surely he could have done a scrummaging job against a reduced All Black pack but there was a chat and referee Jerome Garces ordered golden oldies scrums.
At that stage it was a get out of jail card for the All Blacks, who were just hanging on. Now they could clear their line without any heat and minutes later they were applying their sledgehammer lineout move.
In successive tests, the Boks have squandered victory in the final quarter with their bench lacking the impact of their rivals.
While Sopoaga's impact will be both mana and a future selection head-scratcher, Piutau was gold in his multi-layered roles.
He plays with the fearlessness of someone 15kg heavier and carries into contact with amazing reliability. He began with a superb high-ball take in heavy traffic and his dancing feet and power regularly get him across the advantage line.
Then there's the cleaning he does, the hoovering up of others' mistakes or the chase he made from his left wing to the right, deep in the All Black 22 to prevent a try to Willie Le Roux.
The Boks will rue another test that got away while the All Blacks will support an old sporting motto that the harder they work the luckier they get.