If there is one thing we know to be true about World Cup years, it is the heightened capacity of the media and public to become blind to the bigger picture.
It often seems like a World Cup year is an endless quest to over-analyse, forecast doom and be belligerently dismissive that the coaching staff might just know what they are doing.
Trust goes out the window, and almost certainly at some point between now and the World Cup quarter-finals, the All Blacks will incur the wrath of their fan base whose expectations will remain fixed on the short-term only.
Almost certainly because the All Blacks are going to take deliberate risks in the build-up to this World Cup.
Agreement has been reached that players involved in the Super Rugby final won't be available to play the opening Rugby Championship test against the Pumas in Buenos Aries on July 20.
It's World Cup year, so the All Blacks coaches are extra wary of dragging their seasoned talent to far-flung corners to play tests that in the greater scheme of things are not massively important.
"You have to prioritise the events you play," says All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. "If you look at this year, the most important event is the World Cup. The second is the Bledisloe Cup and the third is the Rugby Championship.
"So we will take more risks in the Rugby Championship than we will in the Bledisloe Cup, and then more in the Bledisloe than we will at the Rugby World Cup, if that makes sense.
"The whole landscape has changed [over the years] and Super Rugby is now a war of attrition and it took us all a wee while to get on the same page about that.
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"Everyone gets it now — that if they want their All Blacks to be playing well in the playoffs, they have to look after them a wee bit and that benefits everyone."
The risk for the All Blacks is that two New Zealand sides make the final.
Few would bet against the Crusaders making it, which will rule out the likes of Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock, Richie Mo'unga, Ryan Crotty and Jack Goodhue.
If the Hurricanes make it that far, too, then it will see Ardie Savea, Dane Coles, TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett become unavailable.
We may see the All Blacks travel to Argentina with a young, inexperienced side which struggles to come together.
But that's a risk Hansen is willing to take to chase the bigger goal of winning a third consecutive World Cup. The complicating factor is that the All Blacks won't get back from Argentina until Monday, July 22, and play a test in Wellington against South Africa on July 27.
The players not involved against the Pumas will no doubt come back into play the Boks, which means the All Blacks will effectively be running two teams simultaneously to play their opening Rugby Championship games.
It's another risk but as Hansen says: "If we don't take that risk then, we will pay a price for it later."
Of course not everyone will buy the strategy or accept that a few losses may have to be sucked up along the way to reach Japan in the right shape.
New Zealanders haven't shown themselves to be campaign savvy in the past.
It's all a bit instant gratification and wild panic when something backfires, which is what happened in 2011 and 2015 when the All Blacks took a few calculated risks to ensure they were at their physical and mental peak by the first knockout round of the World Cup.
In 2011, they played a Tri Nations test in South Africa without a handful of senior players and lost.
They lost again the following week when they reintroduced the group they had left at home for the test against the Wallabies in Brisbane and consecutive defeats sent some followers into a spiral of doubt they couldn't shake.
But on October 23, the All Blacks were crowned world champions, and whether it was good luck or good management, that got them there, they achieved their goal.
Last time around, there were more than a few bumps along the way. They did not allow any of the Highlanders or Hurricanes players who had been in the Super Rugby final to play the historic test against Samoa in Apia.
A sketchy performance in Apia raised a few concerns, as did a loss in Sydney.
When they got to the World Cup and struggled past Argentina in their opening game, to follow up with a couple of sloppy performances against the lightweight Namibia and Georgia, there was an unprecedented angst about their readiness.
But it became apparent when they blitzed France 62-13 in the quarter-finals that they had been operating to a strategic plan all along.
So what we also know about a World Cup year is the coaching group must have enough courage to take calculated risks in the way they prepare the team.
And a World Cup year is trickier than most to manage, partly because of the heightened expectation and scrutiny and partly because what it comes down to is being able to deliver three consecutive, high-intensity, quality performances in the last three tests of the season.
Maybe in the early years of professionalism, it was a valid strategy to go hard into the pre-tournament tests with the top team each week, build rhythm and confidence and hope they could make it all the way through to the World Cup final later in the year.
That's not possible now given the volume of pre-tournament rugby that has to be played and the greater impact it has on the players.
There has to be a more considered plan or the All Blacks will simply go splat when they need to be firing.
It's about being willing to sacrifice a few pawns, maybe even a rook or a bishop, to achieve the real goal of capturing the king.
It took the All Blacks a while to understand that but they get it now, even if plenty within their support base aren't so sure.
But for those who have their doubts about the logic or need to be strategic in World Cup year, think about this: the All Blacks cruised to the Tri Nations title in 2003 and 2007 and bombed at both World Cups.
In 2011 and 2015, the Wallabies were Rugby Championship winners — beating the All Blacks in one-off tests in both years.
Yet the All Blacks won both World Cups — beating the Wallabies along the way on both occasions.