Under Steve Hansen the All Blacks built a triple-threat game. Under Ian Foster they are building a dual-hemisphere game – a style of rugby that will enable them to be as effective against the likes of England, Ireland, South Africa and France as they were in Sydney against the Wallabies.
The conditions in Sydney pushed the All Blacks more towards a kick and crunch approach than they were perhaps intending.
With a drier ball they may have kicked less and looked for quicker lineout possession, but if the rain had stayed away it would have led only to a minor adjustment rather than a total tactical revamp.
And that's because Foster, having seen how the All Blacks were unsettled playing the likes of England, Ireland and South Africa in 2018 and 2019, has set about shifting the strategic emphasis in an attempt to build a ubiquitous physical presence that won't wilt in the face of set-piece oppression, rush defences and relentless box-kicking.
It seemed, and the perception may have exceeded the reality, that after the British & Irish Lions series in 2017, the All Blacks were prone to being a little Jekyll and Hyde – pass and dash when they played Australia and other teams that wanted a running contest, and frail and stale when they were in the north, facing teams with the imagination of a 1960s communist bloc architect.
Anyone daft enough, and Australia usually were, to open up the game and run the risk of conceding turnovers that allowed the All Blacks to attack a broken defence, typically lost.
Those who were big enough, or well-drilled enough, to work low-risk metres through the forwards, maximise the impact of their set-piece and throw most of their time and effort into defending well, tended to be rewarded for it when they played the All Blacks in that period.
They didn't always win, but they almost always induced periods of uncertainty within the All Blacks, subdued their litany of playmakers and turned them into a shadow of their true selves.
Attritional rugby wasn't really in the All Blacks wheelhouse and while it's never going to be their style of choice, or default method of playing, it is at least under Foster going to be a card they can play anytime, anywhere.
That has to be the conclusion from their Bledisloe Cup clinching victory in Sydney which was built on a performance no one recognised as being native to New Zealand.
The driving maul was the go-to at lineout time. They were scrummaging to win penalties and they kicked twice as much ball as they did in Auckland.
It made the 43-5 victory almost unrecognisable from the 42-8 win they enjoyed at the same ground in 2016 or the 54-34 win they posted in 2017.
There were six tries on Saturday night and individual brilliance, but the foundation on which they were both built was not the usual high octane pass and catch fuel, but instead a suffocating muscularity and quite brilliantly executed kicking game.
Australia were the victims and the record defeat they suffered will be attributed as much to their inexperience and fragility as it will the All Blacks' superior physical presence and tactical application.
But if the All Blacks continue to play with such a heavy focus on their set-piece and combine it with an aggressive defence and accurate kicking game, then in time, we might see that their record win in Sydney had less to do with Australian weakness than it may currently seem.
What we may be able to start thinking is that the days of the All Blacks being vulnerable to blunt weaponry applied with little flair but maximum force could be over.
We won't know for sure until there is a means for that to be tested by the Springboks and European heavyweights, but it is certainly hard to imagine that the All Blacks scrum is going to be shoved around by anyone or that their lineout is going to fall apart in the face of improved opposition.
It's unlikely either that a rush defence, however good, will be as effective as it once was as the All Blacks now have alternative means to combat it.
We know that the All Blacks can pass and run their way past a rush defence if they can pick the right angles, time the passes and read where the space is.
Their ability to do that, however, has not been consistent in the past and what we know is that if they can't manipulate an opposition defence with their sleight of hand, they can now simply break it down with force, kick over the top of it or gradually deconstruct it by sapping energy with their driving maul.