Even the absence of fly-half Dan Carter shouldn't prevent New Zealand from claiming their 25th straight Test victory over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
Carter, the world's best pivot, confirmed on Friday on Twitter that he wouldn't be playing at the Millennium Stadium, having pulled up in discomfort after kicking a ball during a training session on Thursday.
"It is disappointing for Dan, he is hard to replace, but we've got to get on and have belief in the next guy," said All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.
Aaron Cruden comes in for Carter but the world champions are unlikely to be unsettled as they seek to maintain their 59-year unbeaten record against the Welsh.
Wales has lost its last five internationals, with labored displays against Argentina and Samoa this month provoking the frustration of a passionate home crowd and leaving a proud rugby nation fearing the worst this weekend.
"I don't have too much sympathy for them - I am in the opposition camp these days!" said New Zealand coach Steve Hansen, who led Wales in 2002-04.
"But what it does do is make them tighter. Invariably, when they get criticized, they get tighter.
"It will make them more dangerous, I think.
"I am not taking too much notice of their recent form."
Wales are the reigning Six Nations champions and reached the semi-finals of last year's World Cup, showing they have the credentials to give New Zealand a challenge.
But lately they have showed a lack of confidence, form and wit, conceding five tries this month while scoring only one, from an interception.
These current All Blacks have gone 19 tests without defeat and are attempting to create a "legacy," according to winger Cory Jane.
The likelihood is they could run through the Welsh, like the world champions have done against Scotland (51-22) and Italy (42-10) this month.
"People talk about a World Cup hangover this year, but we are proud to play for the All Blacks, and every time we go out on the field we don't want to play badly," Jane said.
Warren Gatland, a New Zealander, is back in charge of Wales after handing over coaching duties to his assistant Rob Howley for the last five tests.
Gatland was recovering from breaking both heels in a fall as Wales lost 3-0 to Australia in a June test series, while he has been attending to British and Irish Lions business over the past two weekends.
His return should galvanize the Welsh but injuries to Adam Jones, Dan Lydiate, Alun-Wyn Jones and, this week, George North leaves them without four of their best players.
Saturday could turn into a damage-limitation exercise for Wales.
"They are the one side you measure yourself against," said assistant coach Robin McBryde.
"They are the world champions, the ones you want to beat.
"We have not only focussed on New Zealand this autumn, but you know it takes something extra, something special, to match the All Blacks and to beat them."
New Zealand is back to full strength after rotating its squad for the Scotland and Italy games.