Follow live as the All Blacks reveal their team for the final test of the year.

No nation knows how to clamber on board a defeat quite like New Zealand to try to sink all those involved without a trace.

A loss for the All Blacks it seems can never be just that. The vagaries of sport can never explain an All Blacks loss apparently and the notion that Ireland simply played better on the day isn't sitting well with many.

Nor is everyone willing to believe that defeat in Dublin represents just one test loss.


Seemingly it is indicative or confirmation even that all is not well with the All Blacks and that they have been creaking and just about breaking for some time now.

Perspective might not be such a bad thing to inject at this point. Test matches are called test matches for a reason – they are a test of character, of resilience of creativity of whatever qualities are required to gain a victory and what may have been forgotten is that they are supposed to be hard.

Romping to big wins is supposed to be the exception not the norm and only the supremely arrogant would believe the All Blacks could go to Twickenham and rightfully expect to beat England with daylight between the two teams.

The margin of victory in tests is irrelevant – it is a win-or-lose scenario no more, no less. That the All Blacks won by a point says nothing other than they found a way to beat an excellent England side by a point.

That they did it on England's home turf where only one other team has won in the last three years, says the All Blacks have character and resilience and not that they are losing their touch because they beat Australia by heaps more.

The defeat in Dublin that followed confirmed the qualities of Ireland more than it did that the All Blacks are flailing.