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The All Blacks' battleplan is all about fatigue footy. They want to run their rivals into the ground and then administer the death sabre cuts.

It took until the last 10 minutes for that strategy to kick in yesterday in Cardiff as the tourists sealed their latest Grand Slam deal against Wales. Three Slams in three attempts for Graham Henry's men, can't do any better than that.

Sides north of the equator cannot cope with the relentless inquisition of ball movement, power and skills the All Blacks bring. A group of 13 have been on all three Slam trips, it is a rugged skilful core of talent.

The hosts in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales have made progress, their styles have altered and it will be intriguing to see whether they continue to transfer those patterns to the Six Nations series.

It will also be fascinating to see whether the All Blacks persevere with their high-energy, multi-phase endurance template next season as the passport to World Cup redemption.

Or will they create a hybrid-style more suited to the demands of sudden-death World Cup matches and mid-evening weather patterns next October? Will their nerves hold in next year's big tournament as they did yesterday morning in Cardiff?

They are issues for a contented squad, one with a renewed belief in their ability after a season with one slip-up against the Convicts in Hong Kong. Annoying yes; that defeat was an irritating burr in their search for a world record run of test successes. But one less issue they have to worry about next year.

Most of the worries remain with their rivals, while the All Blacks have a growing player depth and range of styles they can ponder.

A World Cup boil needs to be lanced, but that tournament can be a lottery. Teams can get up for outrageous victories as France did against the All Blacks in 1999 or the Springboks completed in a Durban downpour four years earlier.

It is a tough gig but a much better task to contemplate than the many generations of Welsh who have not seen their side beat the All Blacks. They have seen footage, but nothing live and real since 1953.

The All Blacks will be on the frontline of favouritism for the World Cup, there is no avoiding that assessment. They might win, they might not. But they will give it a hell of a shake if they continue this year's form.

They will need to find the right balance in their work, standards which do not find them scoring tries as they did yesterday on that plasticine pitch in Cardiff, yet only just in the lead in the last 10 minutes after conceding six Stephen Jones' penalty successes.

The All Blacks are finding new cattle and class. Some will need to be culled in decisions which will tug hardest at the emotions of the selection group. Those in danger will be men such as Joe Rokocoko, Tom Donnelly and Stephen Donald - blokes who have given good (sometimes great) service but are being overtaken by time or the new breed in black.

Of that new breed, Hosea Gear, who was damaged almost before the anthems melted into the Cardiff stratosphere but recovered to claim two tries, put another huge tick in the selectors' notebooks. A few years ago his play was brittle. His attack was great, his defence and positional work much lower on the stats sheet.

This tour, his standards have been on the rise. So too Sam Whitelock, the shaggy-haired lock and third rugby talent from the same family. It is not quite father and son stuff, but Brad Thorn and Whitelock present a fascinating combination of experience and zest.

Whitelock is surging and even if Ali Williams makes a decent job of his return to rugby, he has work ahead of him to catch and claim the hirsute Cantab. Settling on deputies for Richie McCaw and Daniel Carter remains an open debate, just the sort to give extra bite to the new Super series.

For now though, the season is done; the All Blacks' results and performances from this year have erased much of the apprehension from the 2009 season.