The Rugby Championship: Kieran Read says clash with South Africa was an 'epic game'
Last Updated: 05/10/13 11:21pm
Kieran Read: Was named man of the match in New Zealand victory
New Zealand No 8 Kieran Read was delighted to see the All Blacks retain the Rugby Championship after an "epic game" against South Africa.
Read was named man of the match in the visitors' 38-27 win at Ellis Park, a result which ensured the All Blacks won the title for a second straight year.
South Africa needed to score four tries and prevent New Zealand from taking a bonus point and although they raised hopes when Bryan Habana ran in two early tries, their challenge ultimately fell short.
"I'm pretty tired, we did a lot of running out there. The Boks kept true to their word and went for the bonus point, it turned into a pretty epic game," Read told Sky Sports.
All Blacks retain title
"I don't think we responded as well as we could. It was tough in that first 20 minutes before we got the second wind.
"We certainly took in a few big ones early but we came right and got a bit of momentum at the end of the first half."
South Africa's predicament at the start of the game meant the only real tactic available to them was all-out attack, a situation which allowed the game to become a great spectacle.
Read added: "It's a great feeling. These are the medals we look forward to as rugby players and certainly, from my point of view, it was awesome to be a part of it.
"(The rivalry) brings out the best in both teams I think. It's one to put down in the ages and look back on pretty fondly."
When skipper Jean De Villiers scored the Springboks' fourth try the destination of the title was still in the balance, but Beauden Barrett's 61st minute score ended the hosts' hopes for good.
De Villiers said: "To win rugby matches you have to attack and defend and our defence was not up to scratch in this match.
"Let us give credit to New Zealand - they deserved to win the match and the championship after a great advertisement for rugby."