Fly-half Daniel Carter gave a perfect goal-kicking display with 25 points and also set up both tries in New Zealand's 35-17 victory over South Africa in their Tri-Nations match in Wellington on Saturday.
Carter, playing his 27th international, slotted seven penalties and two conversions to take his Test career total to 406.
His vision and pace allowed him to size up opportunities on the short side as he accelerated into space and away from defenders to set up tries for scrum-half Piri Weepu and captain Richie McCaw.
"I just continued with my three sessions last week in my week off and the same again this week," Carter said of his goal-kicking. "I think it's really a matter of putting in the extra work and tonight was the reward for that hard work I had been putting in."
The victory ensured New Zealand head into next Saturday's match with Australia in Brisbane, a possible Bledisloe Cup decider, at the top of the Tri-Nations table with nine points.
South Africa scrum-half Fourie Du Preez scored a first-minute try and provided a perfect cross-kick from a scrum to allow Breyton Paulse to score another. Fullback Percy Montgomery added two conversions.
All Blacks coach Graham Henry said: "We won the game and we are very pleased about that. We were down by seven points after 15 seconds and we had to claw our way back.
"They showed a lot of composure and built the game and came out quite a long way ahead in the finish."
The South Africans' rush defence, which had been torn apart by Australia last week in a 49-0 mauling, was mark-edly improved and put the All Blacks under immense pressure.
The New Zealand forwards lay a stable platform to attack and the Springboks, in desperation to stop quick ball, were penalised heavily at the breakdown.
Springboks coach Jake White said: "It was never going to be pretty. After last week it was always difficult to get the players back into confidence.
"We missed crucial kicks at important times. Monty missed that kick just before half time and instead of 12-10 we were 19-7 down.
"In terms of the points, All Black Tests are never easy but to be fair I don't think 35-17 was a fair reflection of the game we watched."
After New Zealand weathered relentless and often brutal forward exchanges for the first 20 minutes, Carter was able to capitalise on the mounting penalty count and slot four penalties before he sparked an open-field try in first half stoppage time that was finished off by Weepu.
Carter slotted two penalties in the first 12 minutes after the break, the second of which took him past 400 points.
Paulse gave the Springboks hope of a comeback when he regathered du Preez's cross kick to close the gap to 25-14 before Carter sealed the win with his seventh penalty on 75 minutes. He set up McCaw's try with a brilliant chip and chase reminiscent of his own try on the same ground last year against the British Lions.