That humiliation proved to be a turning point.
The next four matches have been decided by no more than two points and the Springboks ambushed the All Blacks last year in Wellington with an upset 36-34 victory.
On Saturday, the Springboks were more controlled than the All Blacks in the first half but then had to rely on scrambling defence in the second to stay in touch with the world champions.
They never really threatened the All Blacks tryline until the very end of the match, though, and their big ball-running forwards found it difficult to carve out too much territory in the face of the tight defence.
"That is the nature of test rugby," Erasmus added. "I guess that's the way of playoff rugby, things are tight.
"We are not trying to do things too clever (and) we did look a little one dimensional on the attack.
"But we are building nicely towards the World Cup."