Don't fear for the All Blacks' World Cup chances, fear for rugby and its ability to survive its own mad crusade to lose the very essence of what it is.

The All Blacks will be just fine in Japan. In the last three tests they have been an eclectic and unproductive mix of ill-discipline, poor individual execution and mild confusion, but they were much the same in the lead up to the 2011 and 2015 tournaments.

The rest of the world tends to get overly excited by these lapses.


But the All Blacks don't really do terminal decline. Despite