The bumps and bruises the All Blacks collect in Apia on Wednesday won't all be from the legendary Manu Samoa defence - the hard pitch is also likely to contribute.
There is green grass over the majority of the pitch, but it is cut short and it feels very hard underneath.
Manu Samoa trained on the Apia Park ground this morning - sweat streaming from their bodies as they worked out under the hot sun. The high bounce of the ball was also noticeable; the conditions very different to what the All Blacks are used to at this time of year.
Turf manager Karl Johnson, who has a day job looking after the Waikato Stadium and Seddon Park grounds in Hamilton, is on the third of his three visits in assisting the Samoan Rugby Union prepare the pitch, and said while it was firm "it's not too bad".
"It's very tropical up here and they've had a lot of rain at night. It's not as firm as what I thought it might have been. Manu Samoa trained on it yesterday and they've just trained on it this morning and it's actually come through well.
"Up until two weeks ago they were getting a lot of rain and were actually worried it might have been too wet. There has been no irrigation and there won't be before the match."
Sale Sharks centre Johnny Leota agreed the hard pitch could play into Manu Samoa's hands. "I guess on the day you'll see the kind of rugby we're trying to play. Obviously we want to play the Samoan way - physical - and see what happens from there."
Another thing for the All Blacks to quickly get used to is the very short dead ball area - 5m, when the maximum allowed is 22m. Both the SRU and New Zealand Rugby agreed on the measurement, Johnson said.
He added apart from his advising role and help with the line and number markings, he hadn't done a lot to the turf itself. Artificial turf has provided a buffer between the pitch and athletics track which surrounds it.
"With the time I had there wasn't a lot I could do. I've just done the little things like mowing frequency. On my first trip it looked pretty good but on my second it was too long - we actually had to weed eat the ground... which is a bit unusual."
When asked how long the grass was, he said: "It was pretty long."
All that remains to be done are the finishing touches, including sign-writing the sponsors' logos on the pitch, which will be done by a local company.
"It's fantastic to be involved in a match like this," Johnson said. "Obviously the All Blacks are here for the first time so it's just nice to be a part of it and hopefully make a little bit of a difference."