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The Front Row: The 'BS call' thrown at the All Blacks and RWC pool predictions

The Rugby World Cup is drawing ever closer with teams touching down in Japan this week, but before their bumpy or delayed flights there was one final weekend of warm-up Tests to use as preparation.

For the All Blacks, it was a 92-7 drubbing of Tonga in Hamilton which sparked plenty of talking points.

One topic was the fact Steve Hansen pulled Ryan Crotty off the field despite having no sub, meaning the NZ side played the final 15 minutes of the already-won game with 14 men.

The All Blacks were labelled arrogant by some critics for the stunt but 1 NEWS Sport presenter Scotty Stevenson slammed that accusation on the latest edition of The Front Row.

"I just don't understand why this charge is leveled at the All Blacks consistently in anything they do, this charge of arrogance," Stevenson said.

"What is arrogant about wanting to be the best? What is arrogant about wanting to protect your players? What is arrogant about actually hosting that Test match in the first place?

"It's a bulls*** call."

Prior to the passionate discussion about the Test in Hamilton, Stevenson previewed the World Cup pools with former Blues first-five Isa Nacewa and host Kimberlee Downs.

The trio agreed the All Blacks' group - Pool B - would undeniably see them and the Springboks come out on top for the quarter-finals but other groups, such as Pool A and Pool C, were harder to pick.

"That Scotland-Japan game will be crucial," Nacewa said of Pool A, which also has Ireland, Russia and Samoa in it.

"What [coach] Gregor Townsend has been building for Scotland will probably ramp up to that game."

* The Front Row, TVNZ's weekly rugby show, is available on 1 NEWS Now, Facebook and YouTube and airs on the Duke channel. it is also available as a podcast in all the usual places.

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Kimberlee Downs is joined by Scotty Stevenson and Isa Nacewa as excitement begins to build in Japan. Source: 1 NEWS