DURBAN • New Zealand coach Steve Hansen refused to get carried away, even after a 57-15 demolition of arch-rivals South Africa on Saturday which created two records and moved the All Blacks within one victory of another.
"It was a better performance than the last one (winning in Argentina)," said Hansen, who also masterminded last year's Rugby World Cup triumph in England. "However, it was not a perfect performance so we will not get too carried away."
Still, the All Blacks can look back at beating the Springboks by a record margin, improving on the 52-16 thrashing they dished out in Pretoria 13 years ago.
It was also the first time in four Rugby Championship title-winning campaigns that New Zealand secured a maximum 30 points, which was achieved through six bonus-point triumphs.
New Zealand also clinched the Southern Hemisphere championship after only four rounds, leaving South Africa, Australia and Argentina trailing in their wake.
Success over the Springboks also moved the All Blacks within one victory of a world record 18 in a row.
New Zealand previously achieved 17 straight Test victories in 1969 and 2014.
South Africa coach Allister Coetzee admitted he was "hurting" after the mauling on Saturday.
"I am hurting and I know what pain feels like. I have been in similar situations before," he said.
"This group (current squad) will have to turn things round. Seeing our supporters leaving the stands before the final whistle was not a pleasant sight.
"There will be no excuses from us - the All Blacks are a world-class team and we are not at the same level yet."
In another match, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said his side will need to be sharper when they return to face England in December after a 33-21 win over Argentina at Twickenham.
This was just Australia's third win in nine Tests since they were beaten by New Zealand in last year's World Cup final.
In June, the Wallabies went down 3-0 in a home Test series to an England side coached by former Australia boss Eddie Jones.
They will have a chance to turn the tables when they face England at Twickenham on Dec 3 as part of their end-of-year tour.
"I just want to have a bit more edge around everything," said Cheika when asked what he wanted Australia to improve before they returned to London. "A lot of our guys have really stood up to be counted and we're creating some competition, and that should bring a bit of edge with it."
Victory saw the Wallabies finish runners-up to the All Blacks, and they will next try to stop New Zealand achieving their world records when they meet at Eden Park on Oct 22.