COMMENT by Liam Napier in Tokyo:
Confine history to the bin. Marvel at the present. Breathe easy.
For the non-believers, the evolution of the All Blacks must now be clear.
With one dagger blow to their nemesis of recent years, the All Blacks proved how far they have come, and how difficult they will be to stop claiming three successive Rugby World Cup titles.
Steve Hansen's faith in the fearless backline youth groomed by the Crusaders sure paid off on this occasion, though credit for the clinical nature of this remarkable performance stretches much wider than the highlight reel will show.
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The difference between the All Blacks and Ireland at Tokyo Stadium could not be starker.
With relentless intent and accuracy, the All Blacks' definition of methodical was magical.
With set plays, wrap-around loops, wingers popping up on the other side of the field, cross-field kicks and offloads, the All Blacks produced so many variations Ireland had no clue what was coming next from where.
Try as they might, Ireland were abysmal. So much so that next week's semifinal against England will be a significant step up. Eddie Jones will know so, too, are the All Blacks from the woeful Wallabies.
Ireland dropped ball, kicked terribly to miss touch from penalties three times. They fell off tackles and made so many simple errors. Never has their limited gameplan been so brutally exposed. Never did they look capable of winning their first quarter-final, in their seventh attempt.
When Conor Murray dropped a pass six minutes before halftime, the All Blacks leading 22-0 by this point, Joe Schmidt held his head in his hands. His fate was clear that early.
The end of Schmidt's tenure, one which broke new ground and lifted Ireland to the top of the world last year, could not be more crushing or cruel. Ditto for Ireland captain Rory Best. That's the reality elite sport brings.
Perhaps only now we can truly comprehend how different, how improved, this All Blacks team is from the one that lost to Ireland in Dublin 11 months ago. Nine positional changes go some way to explaining the reshaping of their attacking game but it's more than that. They have their swag back.
Where they couldn't score a try in Dublin, here their attacking verve left Ireland shell-shocked.
Andy Farrell's defensive blueprint rattled the All Blacks with the British and Irish Lions and with Ireland twice previously. Tonight his green wall came crumbling down as the All Blacks skipped to the edge with consummate ease. Seven tries to two is embarrassing.
When the All Blacks are at their peak like this they do the basic skills better and faster than anyone. Their catch, pass, cleanout, ball protection, carry, tackle tonight were all supreme.
Kieran Read doesn't often get the credit he deserves but the All Blacks captain was a colossus. He and Sam Cane laid on several crunching hits that forced early errors. Somehow, Read then found energy to carry into contact all evening long.
Every time Read touched the ball his influence was clear. Look no further than his carry and offload off the deck for Codie Taylor's second-half try.
Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown silenced any doubts about their youthful midfield pairing. Goodhue's slick hands under immense pressure for the flying Sevu Reece set George Bridge away and set up Aaron Smith's second strike. This was just one heady decision we have come to take for granted.
Brodie Retallick got the better of revered Ireland counterpart James Ryan, helping to lay a platform that allowed Smith to enjoy a dream ride as he picked his options brilliantly and unleashed the backline time after time.
Spare a thought for Schmidt, the former Palmerston North school teacher. He achieved many great feats for Ireland, including three Six Nations titles, but they are likely to be lost in the furore of another World Cup failure.
Those preparing to twist the knife must surely appreciate he is unlikely to be the last opposition coach to suffer at this tournament.
Eighteen World Cup games the All Blacks have now won in a row.
England could be the next victims on that list.