They are our biggest threat
All Black loose forward Victor Vito used words such as 'sabotage' and 'respecting big threats' to explain why New Zealand has remained the No.1 team for so long.
The All Blacks, who face the Wallabies in the opening match of the inaugural Rugby Championship in Sydney on Saturday, have made no secret of their desire to not only maintain their trans-Tasman dominance over Australia, but also to remain at the top of the IRB's world rankings.
Australia, who had tasted success in just three times in the 15 encounters since Kiwi Robbie Deans took over as coach, has been without Bledisloe Cup success for a decade.
However, the All Blacks still "respect" them as a major threat.
"The only reason the All Blacks have a success rate like that is because we take them so seriously," Vito told the media this week.
"Every year we come round to them, they are our biggest threat, so we can't really lay off at any point."
According to the loose forward that's the nature of the trans-Tasman rivalry - the moment you give a centimetre, your opponent will take a kilometre and you'll spend the next 12 months hearing about it.
"It's a big thing, any time you come up against the Wallabies," said Vito.
"It's the Bledisloe Cup and next to the World Cup, that's pretty massive for us as Kiwis."
Vito also gave an insight into the All Black psyche.
"I think that's the nature of this team," he reflected.
"It's pretty competitive and aside from trying to sabotage anyone, we're just trying to make sure everyone puts their best foot forward.
"At the same time, we've all got our own goals we want to achieve and we all have our individual things to offer."
From Vito's utterances, there is no risk of a complacent All Black side running onto ANZ Stadium in the first trans-Tasman Test since their one-sided World Cup semifinal last year.
The 20-6 thumping of Australia at Eden Park last October put an exclamation point on four years of New Zealand Bledisloe Cup dominance since Robbie Deans took charge of the Wallabies.
Deans began with a bang in Sydney four years ago when his side hammered the All Blacks 34-19. That proved a false dawn as the All Blacks won 10 straight Bledisloe Cup Tests.
Since then, the Wallabies have logged victories in Hong Kong and Brisbane over the past two years, suggesting a tightening up in the rivalry.
All Black scrumhalf Piri Weepu joined his teammate, Vito, in talking up the Wallabies and said last year's World Cup semifinal in Auckland should be regarded as a one-off.
"We did win that huge victory but its a fresh slate, you can't really dwell on the past," Weepu said.
"You've got to work in the now. That's what were trying to do and I'm pretty sure that's what the Aussies are doing.
"They wouldn't have shown everything against Wales [3-0 series win in June], they would have saved a few things. We've just got to make sure that we shut them down."
The last two Sydney Tests have resulted in one-point wins to New Zealand - 23-22 in 2010 and 19-18 in 2009.
All Black players have stressed this week that they don't want the world champion tag weighing them down in the inaugural Rugby Championship.
Their initial focus was going one-up in the three-Test Bledisloe Cup series, a key outcome if they are to extend their reign as holders which began in 2003.
Sources: One News, Fairfax NZ News & NZ Newswire