Cape Town - We all know there's only ONE statistic that really counts in any rugby match - the final score.

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Saturday's much-anticipated Rugby World Cup blockbuster in Yokohama between reigning champions, the All Blacks, and pretenders to their throne, the Springboks, ended in a deserved 23-13 victory for New Zealand.

While it was merely the first skirmish in what may well end up in a rematch later in the tournament for all the marbles in the final - or in the battle for bronze - both sides will have reason to feel optimistic.

For the All Blacks the win will have given them a massive psychological boost, while the Springboks will be comforted by the fact that they 'won' the second half and have scope for massive improvement.

WATCH | Springboks v All Blacks in 137 seconds!

A winning team never complains about the referee, while a losing side seldom stops.

French referee Jerome Garces will hog online and print space in the coming days.

Sure, he missed numerous penalty offences - for both sides.

Is a neutral referee?

Absolutely.

Is he the reason the All Blacks won?

Absolutely not.

Regardless, the Springboks are now 0-6 under his watch against their fiercest foes - and will be not-so-secretly hoping he isn't assigned the whistle in any of their remaining tournament matches.

What do the official match stats tell us?

That it was predictably a titanic tussle between two of rugby's proudest nations where no quarter was asked or given.

Oh, and that Cheslin Kolbe has a heart of a lion!

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ON ATTACK

METRES CARRIED

South Africa - 370 (Kolbe 124m on his own!)

New Zealand - 367

CARRIES

South Africa - 104

New Zealand - 110

DEFENDERS BEATEN

South Africa - 28

New Zealand - 35

CLEAN BREAKS

South Africa - 7

New Zealand - 12

PASSES

South Africa - 119

New Zealand - 143

OFFLOADS

South Africa - 2

New Zealand - 8

POSSESSION

South Africa - 53%

New Zealand - 47%

TERRITORY

South Africa - 59%

New Zealand - 41%

ON DEFENCE

TACKLES

South Africa - 108

New Zealand - 126

MISSED TACKLES

South Africa - 35

New Zealand - 28

BREAKDOWN

RUCKS WON

South Africa - 87

New Zealand - 77

PENALTIES CONCEDED

South Africa - 9

New Zealand 4

FINAL SCORE?

South Africa - 13

New Zealand - 23