"It is what we expected and knew that come knockout time it may take 80 minutes," McCaw said.
"We played some good rugby and got rewarded with three points some times and we realised if we chipped away we would get chances and that is how it panned out.
"They are a team that attack the breakdown well, they slowed down our ball in the first half. We got some quick ball in the second half and with wind behind us we did well."
New Zealand will now face southern hemisphere rivals Australia next Sunday at Eden Park for a place in the final.