The Wallabies are going into the Rugby World Cup on the back of their finest performance in more than a decade, says Australian great Nick Farr-Jones.
Australia's first World Cup winning skipper, Farr-Jones could hardly have been more impressed by the way James Horwill's men went about beating the All Blacks 25-20 in Saturday's Tri Nations decider.
The former champion halfback is also tipping Wallabies No.9 Will Genia to ultimately rank alongside the legendary Ken Catchpole as Australia's greatest-ever No.9.
"I thought the game that I witnessed at Suncorp Stadium was probably the best Wallaby performance I've seen for at least a decade,'' said Farr-Jones as the World Cup trophy was displayed in Sydney on Wednesday.
"The way the guys played with intensity and great determination, it was one of those games the Wallabies were going to take an attitude of 'whatever it takes' and I thought it was a fantastic game and really puts us up there.''
Farr-Jones believed Genia - who engineered Saturday's match-winning try with a sharp break - had the All Blacks running scared.
"Will Genia, we all know is without doubt the best scrumhalf in the world, but I'd say leading into the World Cup, along with (All Black playmaker) Dan Carter he is the most valuable player that any team has,'' Farr-Jones said.
"No disrespect to Phipps or Burgess but if I woke and found out that Genia had a tournament-ending injury then I'd almost give up on the Wallabies' hopes - he is that good.''
He believed 23-year-old Genia would rank alongside Catchpole as Australia's best halfback within five years.
But Farr-Jones insisted World Cup hosts New Zealand remain deserved title favourites for the tournament starting in nine days.
He recalled Australia losing 6-3 to New Zealand just before the 1991 World Cup and feared the All Blacks loss in Brisbane could galvanise them.
"The All Blacks probably had the loss they had to have,'' Farr-Jones said.
"I still think they start as clear favourites to win and they will have that steely determination and in a way, I think their nation deserves it.
"They are a wonderful rugby nation.''