25 Oct 2015

McCaw says it was as tough as they expected

6:55 am on 25 October 2015

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said their 20-18 Rugby World Cup semi-final victory over South Africa at Twickenham was every bit as hard as they expected.

Kieran Read and Richie McCaw celebrate win over South Africa RWC2015

Kieran Read and Richie McCaw celebrate win over South Africa RWC2015 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"We did what we came here to do, it was hard today but that's always the case against Springboks," McCaw said after leading his side into a second successive final.

"If you look at the first half, our indiscipline was keeping South Africa in the game (but) we held our composure well and the points came.

"I've been saying all week we would be up against the old enemy...it's great to come out the right side."

Victorious coach Steve Hansen said: "It was always going to be close, they're a great side and they showed that again today. I was really proud of our guys, they kept their composure.

"Coming out of halftime we added a few points and stayed composed.

"We just needed to come out (for the second half) and start taking the game to them rather than waiting for them to take it to us.

"We talked about it at halftime. We talked about keeping composure and talked about winning the first 10 minutes."

Beauden Barrett scores against Springboks RWC2015.

Beauden Barrett scores against Springboks RWC2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Centre Conrad Smith said: "They played very well, put us under pressure, didn't give us much room, we had to dig deep and I'm proud of how we did it.

"(At halftime) we just talked about getting the ball out just a bit quicker, nothing big, just a few adjustments."

South Africa's captain Fourie du Preez said: "We're disappointed. It's very tough to take. Just two points. But credit to both teams.

"They kept the pressure on us. We struggled to get out of our own half.

"Unfortunately we couldn't capitalise," he said of South Africa's failure to make the most an extra man when New Zealand had Kaine sin-binned at the end of the first half.

"But credit to the All Blacks, they played well."

Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer had no complaints. "Well done, you deserve it," he said he had told his opposite number Steve Hansen. "There are no words, our discipline was not good enough in the second half."

The All Blacks scored two tries to none, with Jerome Kaino touching down in the first half and replacement Beauden Barrett in the second half.

In the final the All Blacks will meet the winner of tomorrow's semi-final between Australia and Argentina.