But the Bravehearts coach was left with a touch of disappointment that his side, who led 12-10 with 10 minutes remaining, did not beat the Kiwis.
“That was a world class performance,” McCormack told reporters after the game.
“I was actually disappointed we didn’t win, strange as it sounds. We’ve shown we can match it with the best and I’m incredibly proud of this group of players.
“We started strongly and kept it going. Danny (Brough) shouldn’t have been playing really. But try stopping him!
“I thought our bench really stood up people like Billy McConnachie, Frankie Mariano and then Brett Phillips came on at the back end and that lifted the crowd as well when he came on and he was outstanding.
“Everybody has played their part, all the little efforts that maybe people don’t see, digging in for your mates, they’ve done that and that was a world class performance tonight.”
But McCormack’s dominant emotion after the game was undoubtedly pride, and pride in a squad which does not receive the financial rewards and support that the other teams in the Fourh Nations do.
“I am as proud as anything, not only for the never-say-die attitude from our lads but also the manner, in which, we got that result,” he added, speaking to Cumbrian newspaper the News & Star.
“I thought my players were sensational. You can’t underestimate what these players have done.
“You look at our squad, the way they’ve conducted themselves for four weeks, and the way they’ve played. They’ve improved from game one to game three.
“We’ve played against the world’s best team tonight, with a young side with senior players stepping up.
“So, from my point of view, I’m always proud no matter what team I coach but that was brilliant.”