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WATCH: All Blacks skipper Sam Cane ‘pretty stoked’ with victory over Springboks

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Johannesburg – “It’s a pretty cool feeling.”

That’s how a battered and bruised All Blacks captain Sam Cane reacted to his team’s epic 35-23 victory over the Springboks on Saturday night.

Cane was beaming, particularly due to the way the All Blacks dug deep during the final 10 minutes, to close out the 35-23 victory.

The renowned Ellis Park altitude factor was meant to be the Springboks’ ace up their sleeve, with the All Blacks expected to tire as the game wore on, but instead it was two tries from David Havili and Scott Barrett during the closing stages that swung the contest in favour of the visitors.

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“Those are the moments when your legs are buggered, your lungs are burning,” Cane said.

“It’s about working hard for your teammate, and not letting the guy beside you down. Knowing that he’s giving his everything for you too. It’s a pretty cool feeling.”

A Handre Pollard penalty had put the Boks into the lead for the first time in the game with just 12 minutes remaining on the clock and all the momentum at that stage was with the home team, and even more so due to the All Blacks being down to 14-men with Beauden Barrett being sin-binned.

But instead of being floored, the All Blacks stood up from the canvas and produced arguably the defining moments of their season, which speaks volumes for the character that exists within this group of players.

“I am super proud of the belief, there’s never a question of the care and the work ethic has been right up there. But for us to be in a Test match, under immense pressure before such a hostile crowd, in a game that goes back and forth, the belief and composure needs to be strong,” Cane said.

“And that’s not always easy when you’re coming off a run off a couple of losses. To be able to produce that speaks highly of the group as a whole. [I’m] Immensely proud of the group through this last while which has been tough. We sort of had to circle the wagons a bit, and focus internally.

“Adversity really challenges your character and this group has that. We had to get a few parts of our game right as this is one of the toughest places in the world to come and play.  I’m stoked that we could put out a performance that we are proud of,” he added.

@ZaahierAdams

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