Dan Carter hailed the effort of the All Black forwards after he guided them to a 41-13 Bledisloe Cup-clinching win over Australia in Auckland.
In his 106th Test, Carter delivered a performance that was a big turnaround from his effort in the defeat in Sydney seven days earlier, when the Wallabies dominated the breakdown.
This time, he led the team around Eden Park and also brought back his running game.
“The way the forwards stepped up and got us some go-forward ball and increased their physicality made my job a lot easier,” Carter said.
Coach Steve Hansen labelled his inside centre’s display as special and gave plenty of credit to the work that assistant coach Ian Foster did during the week.
Carter said Foster’s message was to be more vocal.
“He just wanted me to be really demanding of the team, drive the team around and take some ownership, and just be demanding in my voice and to be clear as well,” he said.
“At times last week, we were probably a little bit cluttered, thinking about too much rather than just going out there and playing.”
Carter, 33, also landed seven goals for a personal tally of 16 points, missing only once with a long-range penalty.
He moves to French club Racing Metro after the World Cup and was among a group of long-serving All Blacks playing their final Test on home soil on Saturday night.
“It’s really pleasing to have a performance like that,” he said.
“I’ve got some great memories playing at Eden Park over the years and to think I won’t be putting on the black jersey in New Zealand again – it’s great to go out on such a high.
“The crowd was amazing. It’s sad I won’t be doing this again, but there’s just so many great memories that I will cherish forever.”