Rugby World Cup: All Blacks keeping eyes on quarter-final prize as Uruguay await in pool play finale

Their final pool match may be a mere formality in many peoples' eyes, but the All Blacks will be using their clash with Uruguay to assure their performance against Italy was no fluke.

Despite their quarter-final spot being all but secure, they're taking no chances in a shortened test week, as they look to hit the knockout stages in full flight.

The All Blacks have come down from their Italian high and are back to business.

On Friday (NZ time), they'll face one final pool match, one final opportunity to ensure they arrive at the business end of the World Cup in full flight.

Not that they're allowing an eye to glance that far ahead just yet.

"The reality is we have to get this week right to get next week," said Richie Mo'unga. "The facts are, we don't have a quarter-final booked."

They're unlikely to have any trouble doing that, but while the result against Uruguay might be clear-cut, the way they get it is more important.

"To go back-to-back with dominant performances means a lot to us," Mo'unga continued. "And not being satisfied with Italy, it's about taking that next step and building on that."

Uruguay have shown they're more than capable of being a handful.

They had France on the ropes in their pool match, and the All Blacks have taken notice of the uncomfortable positions they can force teams into.

"Their forwards are passionate, big men who will carry well," said defence coach Scott McLeod. "Their backs are sharp, they've got some dangerous runners."

But while the All Blacks won't take Uruguay lightly the reality is they're hardly going to be troubled by them.

They badly need to arrive at the quarter-finals on the back of another dominant victory, knowing the Irish challenge that's likely to be.

"We played [Ireland] a few times last year and they taught us a few lessons," added McLeod. "Those lessons are in the back of the mind there somewhere.

"You've got to tap them forward when it's time."  

The All Blacks have one more game to get it right before their biggest test of the year arrives.   

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