24-3 down against England in Johannesburg on Saturday, the start of Siya Kolisi's reign as Springbok captain looked almost certain to be heading for disaster.
The Boks had been stunned in the opening quarter, but what followed was one of the greatest comebacks this side has ever delivered.
In the end, South Africa emerged as 42-39 winners as Kolisi's historical day turned into a fairytale.
Speaking after the match, the skipper revealed what his message to the side was while standing under the posts at 24-3.
"I was obviously very nervous, it was a tough start," Kolisi explained.
"Luckily I had guys like Duane (Vermeulen) who had been in situations like that before and Willie (Le Roux) ... we all took charge and told the guys to calm down.
"We knew that wasn't what we were capable of."
Kolisi added that he was incredibly impressed with how the young players in the side stayed composed when things were going badly.
"The guys with new caps didn't panic ... they just wanted to play," said Kolisi.
"We decided to take control of the game and play at the pace that we wanted to play, and that's how it changed."