The test against the Wallabies in Yokohama might tell us more about where the Australians are at than the All Blacks given the remarkable fightback from Michael Cheika's men in Salta which overshadowed even the Kiwi comeback in Pretoria a fortnight ago.

Can the Wallabies build on their second-half performance against the Pumas when, down 7-31 at halftime, they won the test 45-34? It was the biggest ever comeback in Rugby Championship history, and owed a fair bit to the departure of Argentina No 10 Nicolas Sanchez after 28 minutes as well as a vastly improved effort from the visitors after a Cheika spray at the break.

If momentum counts for anything in this game, it would appear the Wallabies have it.

Cheika's position as coach appears safe but could have been on shaky ground had his team not responded against the Pumas, to whom they lost on the Gold Coast, and now he and his team might have a little more to play for than the All Blacks.


The world champions weren't stretched in beating Australia in Sydney and Auckland in August to put away the Bledisloe Cup for the year, and they lost the corresponding test, also a dead rubber, in Brisbane last year.

There might be more scrutiny on Steve Hansen's men this time after their epic tests against the Springboks in Wellington and Pretoria, the latter won 32-30 with the final kick of the game.

The defeat to the Boks at Westpac Stadium was their first loss to the old enemy at home since 2009 and Rassie Erasmus' men proved it was no fluke by nearly doing it again.

But one thing we won't get a chance to learn about a week tomorrow at Nissan Stadium is the ability of Jack Goodhue and Sonny Bill Williams to combine again in the All Black midfield due to the former's glandular fever which also ruled him out on the eve of the Boks test at Loftus Versfeld.

The Williams and Goodhue combination is likely to be cemented as the All Blacks' best sooner or later - and particularly by next year's World Cup - but unfortunately we'll have to wait a little longer to see it in action.

Goodhue, 23, will fly straight to London to prepare for the test against England at Twickenham on November 11, his place in the squad for the Wallabies test taken by Ngani Laumape.

Ryan Crotty is a good chance to start the test alongside Williams, with Anton Lienert-Brown in reserve.

"He's playing well; not to say that Ryan's not, but he's playing very well and we want to see that combination of him and Sonny," was coach Steve Hansen's assessment of Goodhue before he was ruled out ahead of the Boks test.


"We last saw it in the French series. We know a lot about Ryan and Jack but we don't know a lot about Sonny and Jack.

"All year we've been trying to work out what's our best combination in that area for the future and this is an opportunity to do that."

Goodhue was one of the All Blacks' best when he came on against the Boks in their defeat. Despite his youth and inexperience (only five tests) he was decisive and a constant threat with the ball.

He is the near perfect embodiment of a calm and yet dynamic presence, and should he and Williams be named in the starting line-up to play England, it will heighten the anticipation for that test even further, if indeed that was possible.