TWICKENHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) - All Black captain Richie McCaw laid down the law at a half-time summit on the Twickenham pitch to spark a fightback against South Africa in their World Cup semi-final on Saturday.
McCaw brought the players out early under the Twickenham rain with the defending champions losing 12-7 to the Springboks and try scorer Jerome Kaino in the sin-bin.
"If you look at the end of the first half, it was our indiscipline that was keeping the Springboks in the game," McCaw said after the tense 20-18 win.
"Sometimes when you get put under adversity, you are down to 14, you just find that little bit extra. Everyone had to make up for that."
A Dan Carter drop goal and a second try by Beauden Barrett in the second period saw New Zealand into the final and the chance to become the first team to successfully defend the World Cup title.
"I guess we did it the hard way today but we always knew that was going to be the case against the Springboks," McCaw said.
"Its just exciting we get a crack at the final next week."
All Black centre Conrad Smith said the All Blacks had to "dig deep and come back from behind" and the half-time huddle was put the message across that they had to be "sharper".
"It is nice being 20 points up, but sometimes good teams have to come down and its not always going to flow your way.
"We just talked about doing a little bit better and getting up the ground a little bit quicker and making decisions a little bit sharper."
He said adjustments were made, with several replacements bringing new energy.
"I thought we executed that very well in the second half."