When it comes to the All Blacks, the English press are obsessed with three things: the haka, Richie McCaw's tactics at the breakdown, and the team's "aura".

The British rugby scribes are renowned experts in the art of aura reading and dispense with their mystical powers whenever the All Blacks roll into town.

They can sense even the smallest disturbance in the team's auric field, and breathlessly report when the All Blacks' aura of invincibility is slipping.

That's been their general consensus again after New Zealand's lacklustre wins over Argentina, Namibia and Tonga in World Cup pool-play.

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But now it's the knock-out stages we thought it's time to get metaphysical and seek out a more in-depth aura reading for the All Blacks as they approach their anxiety-inducing quarterfinal showdown against France this Sunday.

The Herald tracked down Pinetree Medium, the nation's leading expert in the field of auric research, and asked him for his analysis of how the All Blacks are shaping up.

His findings may provide some comfort for New Zealand fans, although there were a couple of warnings attached.

The first thing Pinetree noted was the strong presence of violet shades in the All Blacks' aura, particularly in the causal body, reflecting the blending of heart and mind, or the physical with the spiritual.

There are also areas of more reddish shades, which indicate great passion and strength of will. Red can also indicate nervousness and aggression, but Pinetree is a pint-half-full kind of guy. He believes these colours in the energy field are noticeable when teams are truly coming into their own power.

Flecks of grey were also present in the All Blacks' celestial body, which refers to the team's emotional aspect.

The All Blacks captain Richie McCaw might be 'superman' in the opinion of his long time friend Dan Carter, but the sooner he stops being the 'water-boy' and gets back playing the better.

While grey is a colour that can elicit fear from Kiwi fans when it comes to World Cup campaigns, in this case it can be read as a positive sign.

Grey is said to indicate determination and a need to leave no task undone, or a movement towards unveiling one's innate abilities - an observation that seems to reinforce Steve Hansen's assertions that the team have been holding back in pool-play and are preparing to unleash a second gameplan in the knock-out stages. Or it could suggest that one is colour blind.

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There were however some slight disturbances in the All Blacks' auric field.

Pinetree warns the presence of deeper and muddier shades of yellow in the team's astral body suggests excessive thinking or over-analysing.

Something we all need to be mindful of over the next week.