OPINION: Bulletproof defence and relentless intent - but the All Blacks remain far from the finished product after wrapping up the Bledisloe Cup without getting out of second gear.
That's a scary thought for Argentina, who will be hoping the rough edges remain in Wellington in two weeks where they will try to slow the juggernaut.
The Wallabies were almost in awe of their conquerors on Saturday night where their brave defence was the only thing stopping the dam from bursting.
It's easy to fawn over Steve Hansen's world champions right now but the reality is they have only scratched the surface of their attacking potential.
The best thing about the 22-0 win in Auckland was the zero, a sour-tasting doughnut last sampled against the All Blacks in 1962.
It was the result of a defence which left the Wallabies searching for answers and in the end resorting to hopeful kick and chase.
But, for the second week in a row, the scoreline did not reflect the All Blacks' dominance as they blew past the advantage line almost at will.
Wallaby wing Digby Ioane may have forgotten he had hooker Stephen Moore seated to his left when asked the main difference between the two sides' attacks.
"They've got some forwards with some good ball skills," he said. "They play like backs and they can offload.
"They punish you because one on one they can all offload like Sonny Bill [Williams] does and that really cut us to pieces."
That might give the All Blacks' tight five a little too much credit but it's a valid observation.
Where a Wallaby forward puts his head down and ploughs ahead, the likes of Luke Romano, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw, Liam Messam and Keven Mealamu are comfortable as link men.
They negate the first rushing defender who often finds himself making a dominant tackle on a man no longer in possession of the ball.
That in turn provides a continuity of attack that stretches and tires constantly backpedalling defences.
Which is fine - but where are the tries?
Great All Blacks sides have run up cricket scores through their ruthless ability to finish. This All Blacks side blew up to eight try-scoring chances in Auckland.
They also made 13 errors during the match and continued to struggle with a lineout that's been messy for two weeks running.
Ioane's words may reflect the influence of the All Blacks' departing midfield wonder.
The home side were credited with 21 offloads at Eden Park, not all of them going to hand: exciting to watch, but not always effective.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said of Williams: "He's one of those players who impacts on the players around him.
"He loves to compete and he exudes that ability, not only to compete, but to prevail and he takes people with him."
The All Blacks' attack, like Williams' rugby career, is close, but not quite the finished product.
It's a pity the second five-eighth is off because you get the feeling both parties are not far away.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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