Japan head coach Eddie Jones is backing the All Blacks to sneak home in this weekend's World Cup final against the Wallabies.
Jones, who enjoyed great success with Japan in 2015 and previously coached Australia in the 2003 World Cup final, expects the contest at Twickenham to be close.
“I think New Zealand will make it home in less than five points. It will be close," Jones said.
Explaining his decision, Jones believes the character shown by New Zealand in their semi-final win underlined how strong a side they really are.
“New Zealand, they played against a South Africa team that played their best 40 minutes in the first half,” he said.
“To win that game to me was very impressive. They really stuck it out and showed belief in their own game. It was a very good performance.
“Australia, I thought, would always win but kept inviting Argentina back into the game. They were a little bit loose and gave the Argentinians a chance. It was still a very good win by the Australians. They had a very good second half, not so much the first half.
“Both teams will go into the final full of confidence. There’s not much between them.”
Jones also pinpointed the importance Ma'a Nonu for New Zealand and Will Genia for Australia.
“I think Nonu going forward at 12 is important so they won’t play too lateral. Carter and Nonu give them carrier options as well," he added.
“The guy for me who has to step up for Australia is Genia. He had an outstanding second half yesterday. He can run, he can kick and was really instrumental to their win. If he plays really well, he can stifle New Zealand's game and give Australia a chance.”