The All Blacks are chasing the world record for most consecutive wins.
Their 41-13 bonus-point victory over the Springboks in Christchurch on Saturday gave them their 15th successive win, while when Australia beat Argentina 36-20 later, the Kiwis were also crowned Rugby Championship champs.
The All Blacks travel to Argentina for their next match before they finish the Rugby Championship against the struggling Boks in Durban a week later.
With the tournament wrapped up in record time, the world champions don’t want to let their final two matches mean nothing.
If Steve Hansen’s manne win those matches they would extend their winning run to 17 consecutive matches, equalling a world record amongst top-tier nations that was achieved by the Springboks from 1997-98 and the All Blacks from 1965-69 and again in 2013-14.
Completing the Rugby Championship schedule undefeated will also mean the third Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia on October 22 would take on some actual meaning as the potential record breaker.
Of added significance is that the Wallabies have also halted two lengthy winning runs by the All Blacks in recent years, stopping their streak at 16 games in 2012 with an 18-18 draw. They then stopped the 2014 streak at 17 games with a 12-12 draw.