The Front Row: Could the cancelled game come back to haunt All Blacks against Irish?

The All Blacks are in their final preparations for Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland but is there a risk they enter the game underdone?

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Jack Tame is joined by Paul Moor and Ofisa Tonu’u as all eyes turn to the knockout stages in Japan. Source: 1 NEWS

That's the question Jack Tame, Paul Moor and former All Blacks and Manu Samoa halfback Ofisa Tonu'u pondered this week on The Front Row after the All Blacks missed out on their final pool game against Italy due to Typhoon Hagibis.

Tame called it an "unfortunate situation... given the fact they haven't really been tested since the very first round [against the Springboks]".

The cancelled Test against Italy looked set to serve as a springboard for the defending champs before they dove into the knockout stages of the competition with some key players getting valuable playing time.

Moor said the one that needed it the most was Brodie Retallick who has only played 30 minutes in the tournament so far after recovering from the dislocated shoulder he sustained earlier this year.

"I'm a little bit worried that Retallick hasn't had any footy," Moor said.

"He's the best player in the world and they need him firing."

However, Tonu'u believes the All Blacks won't have any thoughts about that Test now.

"It's three games of rugby now and that's all they need to focus on," Tonu'u said.

"Traditionally, quarter-finals tend to be an easier game but this one is a Test match of epic proportions and I think that will hold them in good stead if they're going to progress."

Meanwhile, in Japan, Kimberlee Downs and Scotty Stevenson discussed the impact of the Brave Blossoms reaching the quarter-finals for the first time and what doing so on home soil has done for the game in Japan.

Stevenson, who commentated Japan's 28-21 win over Scotland that saw them book a spot in the knockout stages, said it was a special experience.

"I've done a lot of footy but I don't think I've ever been in a stadium like that," Stevenson said.

"Right from midday, the fans filled Yokohama and the streets around the stadium - it was just Japanese jerseys everywhere, so festive and they're such a great, friendly bunch as well and the stadium was chockablock as well.

"And after the game, nobody left. They were there for an hour at least on their feet and soaking up every moment."

That win sets up Japan to take on the Springboks on Sunday while the All Blacks and Ireland face off on Saturday.