But what if that happened at the Rugby World Cup? Twelve months out from New Zealand’s title defence, in Japan, it’s a question that will be asked with increasing frequency.
Winning the last two editions of the tournament gives this generation of All Blacks a little more breathing room than those who didn’t quite manage that in the years between 1987 and 2011. But woe betide the bloke whose errors potentially scupper a three-peat next year.
In case you missed it, New Zealand lost 36-34 to South Africa in Wellington on Saturday. It was an entertaining game in which the All Blacks made a lot of errors and couldn’t translate opportunities into points.