The Bledisloe Cup goes on the line tonight at Eden Park in what will also be the final test in New Zealand for a number of All Blacks stalwarts and when Richie McCaw breaks the world record for the most tests played. Herald rugby writers Gregor Paul and Patrick McKendry answer three key questions.


Radio Sport's Hash Brown Breakfast talk to Graham Henry.

Radio Sport's Martin Devlin with All Blacks fullback Ben Smith.

1. Will the All Blacks respond with a blood and guts performance and fix all that went wrong in Sydney?
GP: Mostly. The bear was poked in Sydney and is now angry - angry that they were so lateral and confused in what they were trying to do. They were reactive and failed to change their thinking. A simpler mindset tonight - dominating the collisions, being quicker and more ruthless at the breakdown and more physical in their ball carries - should see the foundation laid for the All Blacks to deliver a better, more cohesive performance.

PM: The intent will be better - that's almost a certainty. The All Blacks pack will come out steaming and look to intimidate the Aussies physically. Can they fix what went wrong in Sydney? That depends on the Wallabies - they were pretty good last week and are keen to do some improving themselves.

Radio Sport's Martin Devlin talks to former All Blacks skipper Todd Blackadder.

2. Will Quade Cooper's selection prove to be a masterstroke or disaster?
GP: Probably neither. He's not the same fragile player he was in 2010-2012. He's grown up a bit and, with his maturity, he's learned to deal better with pressure. He is, as no one should forget, a good player with plenty of skill. But if the All Blacks pack do what they are planning and get on top, it will be a tough night for Cooper and the rest of the Wallabies and his influence will be minimal.

PM: I'm going to roll the dice and say disaster. The All Blacks will target him mercilessly and he has the potential to self distruct once again. Richie McCaw certainly wasn't telling the crowd to show some respect to the Wallabies No10 yesterday when he said a hostile reception for Cooper could help the All Blacks.


3. Which player or players will the All Black selectors have under most scrutiny tonight?
GP: Victor Vito has a big chance to convert his Super Rugby form and show he can be a test footballer rather than a great athlete. Daniel Carter could do with calming everyone down by showing his usual accuracy and a bit more spark with ball in hand. Nehe Milner-Skudder could play himself into the World Cup squad if he gets his hands on the ball and plays without inhibition and, in an oblique way, if Jerome Kaino comes on at lock and contributes well, it may strengthen the case to take only three second-row forwards to England.

PM: Daniel Carter. He has to keep the Wallabies' defence honest and that means running the ball. Ma'a Nonu could help take a bit of heat off DC tonight, but the All Blacks No10 has to show a bit more of an attacking threat than he has lately. This is a big game for him.

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