We all knew the Aussies would struggle when Super Rugby's (gulp) happy transtasman family was reunited over the weekend.
Sadly, the Australian teams were as bad as ever despite a few close score lines.
The opening SRTT round may appear to give the Australians some hope but the circumstances behind those games reveal something different. It's hard to see any of the Australian teams going close to winning the title, and that has to be the yardstick.
The Aussies needed a fast start, to build confidence and give the competition a lift. Unfortunately they bombed big time.
Round one recap:
Highlanders storm home to thrash Reds in opener
Hurricanes beat Waratahs in wild 112-point clash
Crusaders cling on to edge Brumbies
Brilliant Blues run riot in big win over Rebels
Chiefs complete NZ sweep after holding off Force
From a distance, the Reds' attitude to their match in Dunedin was never right - in preparation and team selection - after winning the Australian Super Rugby title.
The Reds, who left superstar prop Taniela Tupou on the bench, seemed to be taking a long term approach to a quick-fire competition.
It was a very winnable game for the Reds. Now they are behind the eight ball.
On the face of it, the Brumbies could hold their heads high after going very close to drawing with the champion, pacesetting Crusaders.
But the game in Christchurch was dire, an embarrassment to rugby. The first half, in which rugby's scrum problems turned into a fiasco, could have been challenged under the consumer guarantees act as referee Paul Williams struggled to find solutions.
I'll say this to the knuckleheads in the Crusaders and Brumbies front rows (and coaches) – people wasted their hard-earned cash watching you lot playing stupid buggers.
The set piece catastrophe wrecked any flow, which didn't help the home side. The other Australian sides may suffer the backlash.
The clash between the Hurricanes and Waratahs descended into festival rugby, but at least it was a lot more fun than the Crusaders-Brumbies nonsense.
Sport can go that way, where games take on a strange personality. The tries just kept on coming, the tackles not so much.
The Sydneysiders will keep getting absolutely smashed defending the way they did. Their tackling resolve and defensive organisation on the run was pathetic.
At one point three players watched Julian Savea trudge off to the tryline, the ageing 2015 World Cup superstar being handed the chance to relive old glories at three-quarter pace.
The match between the Force and Chiefs in Perth was a decent watch. But if the Force can't win a game like that, there's no hope for them.
The Chiefs were coming off a grand final loss, dealing with a significant travel factor, and were down to 13 men for eight minutes and 14 men for the final 13 minutes. The result shouldn't have hung on a last-gasp goal attempt.
The Chiefs actually managed to outscore the Force when at a two man disadvantage, the home side failing to adjust their strategies to the situation.
With a 50–3 scoreline, it goes without saying that the Rebels were humiliated at home by the Blues, whose own form had crashed after a promising start in the Super Rugby Aotearoa.
Few will make grand predictions about the Blues on the basis of this romp – we don't want to get fooled again. But the Rebels certainly did their very best to play the Auckland bumblers back into form. Very generous.
I'm well and truly over Super Rugby already. Bring on those Silver Lake All Blacks.
The international season can't come soon enough and you can see the semblance of a reasonable Wallaby squad from which Dave Rennie might mould a likely test side.
But the decision to stretch Australian's rugby resources over five teams still haunts them.
There were two stars of the opening SRTT round for my money.
Highlanders ace Aaron Smith's passing was again sensational, as the southerners easily fended off the underwhelming Reds.
And No. 8 Hoskins Sotutu had some glorious moments in the Blues' dismantling of the Rebels in Melbourne. This reached a peak in the buildup to the try scored by AJ Lam, from a Harry Plummer kick.
Okay, so the crowd will go off when there are late tries in close scoring games.
But why do the players celebrate, when there is still a pivotal conversion to come?
What's to celebrate, when a loss is still in the offing? And I don't see how it helps the kickers, who must only feel added pressure.
It happened twice over the weekend, with the Brumbies and Force. Their goalkickers missed on both occasions.
Cross-code legend Sonny Bill Williams continues to defy convention. One minute he's guiding a new young league star in the NRL and being talked about as a Samoan league coach, the next minute he's turning up as a commentator/interviewer (to be generous) in Super Rugby.
Speaking of commentators…
The former Chiefs and All Blacks prop Kane Hames is showing a lot of promise. And he really seems to understand the rules.
My All Blacks bolter…
The supersized Chiefs hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho…he operated off the bench in Perth, and one driving tackle in particular typified his impressive season.