If two years ago the predominant wisdom prevailed in Chicago, Ireland would still seek their first victory over New Zealand.
At that time, it was said that the Kiwi would have to have time off and ALL have to go right for Ireland.
But that was not what happened.
Was New Zealand off-day? Yes.
Have they been caused by Ireland to have a day or a few factors: travel, fatigue at the end of the year, lack of focus, missing a few useful second lines, combinations of all? Probably.
Was everything right for Ireland? Not for a long time.
Sean O'Brien and Peter O'Mahon were not in agreement (Joe Schmidt said).
Keith Earls was suspended after being sent to Munster; Paddy Jackson, Irish midfielder, could not travel, his substitute Joey Carbery had no international experience.
The inexperienced goalie Jordi Murphy hurt a knee injury. Ireland left seven points behind the tee.
The lesson is that things can go wrong and it's not a game. It's about making fewer mistakes than your opponent and then getting some happy breaks on the way.
This time, however, it counts again in Irish favor.
He was disappointed to feel that O Brian's last injury was suppressed by the re-design of Dan Leava and young Leinster's man.
But now Leave joined O'Brien, Conor Murray and Robbie Henshaw on the edge of the team for second place.
Since Sonny Bill Williams, replaced by Ryan Crotty, is the only one absent in the team of visitors and as well as Josh van der Flier it is a massive blow to Ireland, protecting the 10-game winning run at home at 19:00 kick-off.
Another problem that can not be defended is the danger represented by two locks that Ireland will meet with 16 winnings from the last 17 games.
Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock, both of whom missed a Chicago match and returned for a rebound 21-9 two weeks later, are in place and in a sinister form.
Before their 50th test, he will start as a closing partnership, capturing recorders Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock before this weekend match against Ireland. ??☘️#IREvNZL pic.twitter.com/uR4ojlXg5D
– All Black (@AllBlacks) November 16, 2018
Duo violates record-breaking 50 All Blacks partner records when they are removed.
Adding Devon Toner to the forward pack is Schmidt's response to the stuttering lineout against Argentina and Ireland, who won only once in 30 matches against New Zealand, have to get parity in this area to have a chance.
It's something that Peter O'Mahony mentioned earlier in the week.
"[Devin’s] a very important part of our team. The way in which the line ran out last week is really a correctional area for us, "said a 29-year-old candidate.
"Our shares were not where we wanted to be."
There are small differences in the game with small differences.
Both teams have 100% of the last two matches. In Chicago, Ireland had 83.3% lineout, 80% in New Zealand.
In Ireland, Ireland improved to 90%, but visitors were flawless, 100%.
Evidence from the last two matches also stood out.
Ireland admitted only four punishments in each game, while New Zealand was caught twelve times in Chicago, 14 times in Dublin – and was considered fortunate to have no more than two yellow.
"We are proud of our discipline, in training and in the game," said CJ Stander RTÉ Sport.
It would be quite satisfactory if Ireland, which was forced to get under the spell of massive pressure, could keep quiet and keep the numbers low.
We'd like to deal with how Wayne Barnes treats Ireland, mostly based on a fine that threatens Grand Slam in 2009, but if the hosts begin blaming the Englishman on Saturday at nine o'clock, then they will only blame themselves.
He's got 15 minutes, so he knows what's going on.
"We've been severely penalized in the past, more than any other ref, so we have to be really cautious this week," Sexton said.
The battle between half-partners also promises to be special. Johnny Sexton and Beauden Barrett are both on the World Player of the Year list, and if the New Zealander gets a nod, it will be three in a row.
Sexton kicked out of the desperately poor hand in the 28-17 victory over Pumas and he knows more than anyone that it can not be repeated.
Barrett, who won the 71st match last week against England, even added dropgoals to his repertoire.
The latest Aviva test against New Zealand was infamous due to the brutal way New Zealand made its business.
– Irish rugby (@IrishRugby) November 16, 2018
Schmidt mentioned that when he named his party on Thursday and contained four changes.
"We have to get out and get as well as we get," he said, because he had not played a potentially significant decisive factor before.
"That's why it's going to make a fair kind of competition."
When Ireland is turned on, like most Grand Slam campaigns, the engine is like an unstoppable machine.
For Argentina it was clear that the machine needed some oil. That's the hope for Schmidt and his men that they're getting better in their closet.
Rob Kearney – along with Sexton's only survivor, who is starting to return from victory 40-29.
Set-pieces and kick-off receptions need to be sorted out – New Zealand is the best when using restarts to retain property – and Sexton must be exactly from the boot, there are plenty of things to go right.
This means that New Zealand, which has not lost in Europe since 2012, has weak air of vulnerability. South Africa has punished them in the Rugby championships, and England has suspected that it dropped her last week to lose Twickenham.
In an interview with RTÉ Sportem, who was questioned about the game plan to be brought by All Blacks, former captain Tana Umaga said: "If you can hold the ball out of their hands for a long time, it will stop them." You have to make sure you do All Blacks. "
Also talking to RTÉ Sport, Captain Kieran Read gave a hint of how he got it right.
"We know that when a team opens against us, it will probably be the best season, and it will ensure that we have to get our preparation right," he said.
Champions of six nations could do some things that do not have the world's top champions, and luck has never been lost.
Watch Ireland in New Zealand via our RTL.ie / Sport and News Now, watch live on RTÉ2 and RTÉs or watch live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 this Saturday (kick-off 7pm)