The pleasantries are out the way and it's time for the real Rugby World Cup to start - lose and you'll have to wait another four years for a tilt at the Webb Ellis trophy.
And, say what you like about the Irish and their recent form, they possess the firepower to knock the All Blacks out.
There's no doubt in my mind that the All Blacks would have preferred a quarter-final meeting with Japan or Scotland. Yes, you want to play the best en route to the final but if you have an opportunity to avoid some of the tougher sides early on, you embrace it.
That said, the cancellation of the All Blacks' final pool match against Italy because of Typhoon Hagibis could be both a blessing and a curse. The players and management would have welcomed the opportunity to recover from what has been a long season and the scrutiny and rigours associated with being considered the favourites at the World Cup.
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The non-start also meant that some key men wouldn't have had the game time they wanted ahead of the do-or-die clash.
Brodie Retallick, in particular, would have welcomed at least another 40 minutes on the pitch after spending months sidelined due to injury, while we also haven't seen enough of Jack Goodhue (or his budding midfield partnership with Anton Lienert-Brown) in Japan.
Cancelling the game was the right call and the All Blacks would have dealt with the lack of contact by roughing each other up in training sessions, in preparation of the expected Irish onslaught.
Joe Schmidt's team will be physical as always but if that's what they will rely on – beating up the All Blacks – they'll be found wanting. Very few teams in world rugby – if any – can outmuscle us up front and we saw that in the first pool match against South Africa.
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What we don't want is to give the Irish an early sniff, allow them to build a lead and then control the pace of the game. We need to start well, rattle them early and not let them recover.
Schmidt is a clever coach and he will have a few tricks up his sleeve but World Cup knockout pressure can be suffocating and is hardly the best ground for experimentation. Besides, the All Blacks coaching staff have proven time and again that there's more to them than relying on brute strength in tight contests – we outfoxed the Springboks strategically by playing a lot of rugby behind the gain line in an attempt to draw them out of their defensive shape and strike on the counter-attack.
I expect the All Blacks to face England in the semifinal, as I can't see the Wallabies getting close to Eddie Jones' men.
Of the remaining teams, the English worry me most – they've been uncharacteristically quiet this tournament. Unlike in previous campaigns, there haven't been any off-field dramas and with the exception of Jones, they've stayed out of the headlines.
The fact that they've kept their mouths shut, tells me the English are more focused than ever before.
They want to win this World Cup badly.
And they can do it, too.
The Wales v France clash is probably the hardest to call.
Warren Gatland is a good mate of mine and while some part of me would like to see him do well, I would not be at all surprised if the French get their act together for the first time in this tournament.
They seem to be at their best when there's infighting and turmoil in the camp and, if reports are to be believed, there has been plenty of that over the past weeks.
One thing Kiwis know by now is that you never write off the French at a World Cup. I reckon an upset is on the cards in Oita.
I can't see a similar surprise in the quarter-final between the Springboks and Japan. The Japanese had the element of surprise in Brighton in 2015 but this time everyone is aware of the threat they pose.
Japan have had a remarkable rise in world rugby over the past four years and to see them lift themselves up against Scotland with the Hagibis devastation all around them, will go down as one of the most special World Cup memories of all time.
What they've achieved over the past four weeks has been nothing short of a sporting fairy tale but as much as I would love for them to beat the Boks again, I believe that fairytale is about to end.