All Black skipper Reuben Thorne is desperate for Wales to push his side all the way as the countdown to the quarter-finals begins.
There is concern within the New Zealand camp that they will be underprepared for the rigours of a probable clash with South Africa after their walk in the park in Pool D.
The All Blacks have rarely needed to get out of second gear registering, huge wins over Canada, Italy and Tonga by at least 60 points each, but Thorne is relishing what he expects to be their toughest test yet from Wales.
"Hopefully Wales will test us everywhere. Certainly we won't be able to breach the first line of defence as easily as we have been. It will test our structure and our strategy," he said.
"Mentally the preparation has been a big step up in the approach the guys are taking. We know the level of the game is going up as we head through to the next round after this.
"This week the quality of the opposition is higher than it has been and the style of rugby will be more traditional test match style. We will have to be a lot more accurate than we have been.
"Wales have improved a lot from the last time we played them, so we definitely have to step it up." Meanwhile, the All Blacks remain ever hopeful that Tana Umaga will complete a remarkable comeback and be fit to play in the quarter-final just four weeks after damaging ligaments in the opening game against Italy.
The vice-captain is expected to join full training next Tuesday.