This morning's Dominion-Post carries an excellent editorial on just that - so instead of a preview of tonight's match at Eden Park (which the All Blacks MUST win), have a read of this. I don't normally reproduce whole articles, but his is good reading, so I'll make an exception - and with any luck, there'll be a review on Keeping Stock tomorrow of a meritorious New Zealand victory!
The tremor that rippled the length of the country shortly before midnight last Saturday was not caused by an earthquake. Nor was it caused by the All Blacks losing to the Wallabies in Sydney, ghastly though the loss was, The Dominion Post writes.
It was caused by the sudden, awful realisation that something New Zealanders have taken for granted for generations may no longer be the case.
That something is that the All Blacks are the best team in world rugby. Sure they choke at rugby world cups, sure there have been times when the Springboks, the British and Irish Lions and the Wallabies have had their measure. But we've always known that if they're not the best team in the world this week, they will be next month, or, at the very least, in a season or two.
But the 34-19 loss to the Wallabies exposed not just the yawning gap between the injured Richie McCaw and the next best openside flanker in the country. It exposed not just the gulf between Robbie Deans, the coach the New Zealand Rugby Union allowed to slip through its fingers last year, and Graham Henry, the man who persuaded the union to give him another chance after last year's World Cup humiliation.
It exposed a lack of depth in the New Zealand game that will only grow as wealthy British and French clubs headhunt this country's best talent.
Lest anyone failed to notice, the Australian side that made the All Blacks look like a bunch of naive schoolboys was by no means a vintage Wallaby outfit. It was crammed as full of newcomers as the All Blacks and it was coached by a man who has barely had time to introduce himself to his players.
The All Blacks coaches are promising to do better at Eden Park tonight, having had time to get to grips with the new experimental laws that encourage kicking for position. Readers may wonder what they were doing while Deans was guiding the Canterbury Crusaders to a fifth Super 14 title employing exactly the tactics the Wallabies employed against the All Blacks last Saturday. They obviously were not watching the games.
But the sad truth is that, even if the coaches get it all right tonight, there is no guarantee the All Blacks will win.
In the past, All Blacks coaches have had the luxury of being able to make mistakes and still win matches. It often didn't matter if they picked the wrong players. Those on the field were still good enough to overcome most opposition.
But that is no longer the case.
The mass exodus of senior All Blacks after last year's World Cup has exposed cracks in the game that have never before been seen.
Add to that declining spectator interest after last year's Super 14 debacle, the growing number of boys choosing to play other sports, and the increasing professionalism of the All Blacks' rivals and there is no reason to believe things are going to get better any time soon. The aura of invincibility that surrounded the All Blacks for so long has gone.
It is shaping as a long winter for Graham Henry and his assistants, Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith. And for the rest of us too.
Go the Phoenix.