The All Blacks and Springboks completed their first heavyweight brawl in Japan and no one will complain six weeks from now if we witness the rematch to conclude what clearly promises to be a captivating Rugby World Cup.
Time will tell whether these are the two best teams at the tournament. Plenty more drama awaits. But on first glance, they will both take some stopping.
Surely everyone except, perhaps, the exhausted players wanted this match to continue forever. It was that good.
Absorbing doesn't do the epic contest justice. End to end, pound for pound, the All Blacks and Boks have been near inseparable over the past two years.
Fittingly, their World Cup opener proved no different.
• Match report: All Blacks take down Springboks in remarkable World Cup opener
• Take a bow! All Blacks' classy moment after Boks victory
• 'Very disappointed': Why Spark had to switch All Blacks to TVNZ
This match was played at such a frantic pace that players from both teams were frequently out on their feet. And it's easy to see why.
By the finish those wondering aloud whether the All Blacks were vulnerable, whether they still hold the mantle, had their emphatic answer. They remain the team to beat.
That the All Blacks left points on Yokohama Stadium, and have room for improvement, is testament to the level they are nearing.
The Webb Ellis Cup is not won in the first match but with this initial response, the All Blacks again set the bar for others to reach and, in doing so, reminded everyone of their intent to claim a third straight global showpiece.
Six minutes. That's all it took for a truly stunning attacking blitz to leave the Springboks in a seemingly punch drunk state.
The Boks were not to be defeated that easily, fighting back through Pieter-Steph du Toit and a sweetly struck Handre Pollard dropped goal but so, too, did the All Blacks regroup to display supreme composure and answer everything the South Africans threw at them.
From 3-0 down to 17-3 ahead, in this period the All Blacks won this match.
Oohs and ahhs reverberated from the 72,000 in attendance as the All Blacks clicked out of nowhere.
They were on the backfoot, the big Boks pack dominating the opening quarter to put halfback Aaron Smith and, thus, the All Blacks backline under immense pressure.
The All Blacks were erratic, rattled. They looked headless at times, throwing wild offloads as rookie wings Sevu Reece and George Bridge shelled regular Faf de Klerk bombs.
Pollard then hit the post with his second penalty attempt, and it was as though that shook the All Blacks into life.
Suddenly Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett, this still developing dual playmaker combination, took control.
Mo'unga nailed two cross-field kicks to put Reece on the outside of the Boks rush defence. Wider out, Barrett exploded through defenders with his phenomenal acceleration to send Bridge over.
The Boks should have had a man sent to the bin for a cynical infringement but French referee Jerome Garces forgot for the first time in his life where his cards were.
Yet it didn't matter.
By that point, Anton Lienert-Brown unconventionally jinked his way through gaps as only he can and Scott Barrett's long strides resembled a gazelle in full flight.
All this in six minutes. Seventeen unanswered points. This was magic rugby – exactly how the game should be played.
When the All Blacks click like this and strike that upper echelon of pace and tempo no one else on the planet is capable of sticking with them.
Their support and link play between forwards and backs was on another level.
As good as that attacking onslaught was it's worth pausing to ponder just how much pressure the All Blacks absorbed.
Make no mistake, the Boks are an outfit of serious quality. They arrived here confident of upsetting the All Blacks and had Mo'unga not pulled off his try-saving tackle on the electric Cheslin Kolbe, they may have pulled it off.
Instead Mo'unga stepped up to nail a clutch penalty, as did Beauden Barrett to ensure a late 10-point buffer, and the All Blacks can now rest easy until the quarterfinals.
Second game into the World Cup and this match has set expectations incredibly high.
Good luck to those who follow.
Love your rugby? Subscribe now to NZ Herald Premium for unlimited access to premium content, including our exclusive, first-class rugby coverage. Check out our special rugby offer here