The All Blacks stuttered against Tonga in the first half on Friday evening before running out 48-9 winners courtesy of six second half tries at the Arms Park.
And with several of their bigger guns back for tomorrow evening's game against the green and whites, coach Dave Rennie can be justifiably confident about his side's chances of staying on top of the Pool.
Ben Afeaki, the giant tight head who tips the scales at close on 21 stones, returns to the front row with Rennie admitting that his side's considerable size provides them with a genuine advantage.
He said: "There are some big guys out there, but they are good players too.
"I think other teams will look at us and wonder if these players are as good as they are big."
And captain Chris Smith added: "It's always nice to get a good win. Tonga provided a really good opposition for us in that first half, but it showed us that we've got a lot of things to work on and by no means are we the completed product."
Ireland will certainly need to produce a more rounded performance if they are to gain the respect of the All Blacks and, hopefully, run them close.
What's more, as coach Eric Elwood points out, if they continue to miss their chances, the competition will quickly slip away from them.
He said: "We were disappointed with Friday because it was so important for us to get off to a good start. It was a very competitive game and we certainly created enough chances to win it, but we couldn't turn that pressure into points."
In the 5.00pm game, Argentina will be keen to keep the pressure on New Zealand with what should be a straightforward victory over Tonga.
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