"We needed to stay in the moment and that was the message during the week and during the game". We were very close to losing three in a row and that puts pressure [on the team] and takes a lot of belief away.
Few had given the Springboks any chance of winning Saturday's game, having lost their last two matches and seemingly dropped below the standard that drove them to a 2-1 series win over England in June.
"That was a month ago".
The Boks came back stronger from the break as they further increased their lead to 14 points through substitute Cheslin Kolbe who touched down for his first global try after he came on for Lukhanyo Am.
"We wanted to look each other in the eye and say we did the best we could against the best team in the world. No-one beats New Zealand here, so we're very privileged to be one of those teams".
However, Erasmus was keen to remind everyone of the reality of where the Springboks are in the world rankings. Instead, a 36-34 win showed his team was moving the right way towards next year's Rugby World Cup.
He defended Barrett's wayward kicking, deflecting criticism of an individual saying "it's a team game and, in this case, I know Beauden's feeling it and he'll be disappointed but maybe next week he'll come out and kick 100 percent".
"We're obviously disappointed and there are areas we have to work on".
Erasmus praised his side's defensive effort as they made over 200 tackles in the match to keep the All Blacks from scoring a potential victor.
"If you look at the past two Tests where we lost to Argentina and Australia‚ we had many chances and did not capitalise on majority".
'The game nowadays is so quick, there is a transition where somebody scores a try out of nothing. We scored tries from nothing and had to defend for what felt like hours. It was a good gutsy effort defensively but I also thought the system was good'.