At 7.30 this evening armchair sports fans face a real test of their sporting character. Do they watch the All Blacks live or the Warriors? "Both" is not an option for the self-respecting supporter of sport. Watching a match means living through it, all of it. Only one can be watched in real time, the other delayed.

So which is it to be? The All Blacks playing the Pumas, or the Warriors against the Panthers. An almost certain New Zealand victory or an almost certain battle for survival in the NRL play-offs. Do we watch sport for comfort and assurance, or the risk of agony for the possibility of ecstasy?

Should the All Blacks somehow lose in Nelson tonight it will be a blip on a glorious record, probably ascribed to squad rotation and taking the opposition too lightly though, hopefully, it would be the result of giant strides taken by the Argentine team that has beaten the Springboks this year.

But should the Warriors lose in Sydney it will be the end of their season after doing so well to make the play-offs for the first time in seven seasons. True Warriors supporters — and there are none more true in New Zealand sport — will have no difficulty deciding which channel to watch tonight.


But the habitual All Black follower who takes a passing interest in league faces the real test. Are they going into the trenches against Penrith or sit back and see another side succumb to our rugby machine? Big decision.