This is shaping up as a cringe-inducing Rugby World Cup.
As the leading nations close in on each other, there was the awful sight of a traditional heavyweight smashing up one of the game's wannabes with the tournament just weeks away.
And we're not even talking about what happened in Hamilton yet.
South Africa played in fits and starts yet still crushed Japan 41–7 in a warm-up near Tokyo, raising the spectre of a host nation being humiliated.
While this occurred last time of course, hometown flops England – with great traditions in the game and vibrant crowds – offered up a pretty memorable tournament in 2015.
The scary thing is that the Japanese, who are grouped with one of the tournament favourites in Ireland and dark horses Scotland, actually played quite well at times.
Using blockers to distract South Africa's advancing inside defence, they found inviting spaces near the touchlines as the Springboks worked on the rush system it hopes will bamboozle the All Blacks first up.
But the Springboks' scrambling defence was hardly tested as Jamie Joseph's side failed in the skills department.
And yet Japan probably played much closer to potential than South Africa did, and still lost by a whopping margin against the team they rolled in such an extraordinary World Cup game four years ago.
That was nothing compared to the embarrassment in Hamilton.
It is hard to recall a sadder rugby sight than 80 minutes of sheer Tongan ineptitude as they were pummeled by the All Blacks, the truth being they were lucky the score was only 92–7.
They were hit by the usual refereeing decisions which go against the smaller nations, the All Blacks being gifted at least one try that involved a blatant knock-on from captain Kieran Read.
With the century approaching, the All Blacks sent in a few nightwatchmen and didn't even bother replacing Ryan Crotty in the final quarter.
One of Tonga's many problems was a glaring lack of speed and Ben Smith - concerningly past his prime – cantered away for a long range try with only the Waikato sunshine breathing down his neck.
If World Rugby needed a wake-up call about the treatment of Pacific Island rugby, Hamilton delivered an afternoon nightmare which could act as a clarion call, although it won't.
The distinct impression is that while a handful of top teams are now more compressed in ability, this cluster has moved further away from the underdogs.
While massive tournament upsets are rare, those involving the likes of Samoa and Japan in particular over the years have at least given the impression that rugby romance is not entirely dead.
Japan shapes as the setting sun for fairytale World Cup stories, and there was little hope on offer in west Sydney where the erratic Wallabies cruised to a 19-point victory over Samoa.
There are other concerning factors.
From a TV watching perspective, Spark Sport's reduced picture quality definitely detracts from the experience because many of us are used to something much better. But at first look, for the South Africa-Japan game, it is perfectly watchable. Fingers crossed there won't be technical hitches.
That's not the only problem.
With most of the tournament parked behind a new paywall from an operator lacking an attractive overall sports menu, and via an app, much of New Zealand will be isolated from the tournament as a whole.
(And for any rugby administrators who might be interested, I've already heard from parents who said it was a joy being able to watch a free-to-air rugby test with their kids on Saturday afternoon.)
The atmosphere from Kumagaya was sterile and disorientating during the Japan-South Africa match, the crowd sounding distant and out of sync with the game. It has to be presumed that there will be a lot of new rugby watchers at the tournament, because Japan is not really a rugby country.
A sport which has a patronising attitude to tiny Pacific Island nations with a passion for rugby has embraced Japan's wealth with glee.
An estimated 400,000 visitors should enliven the tournament, and give the big matches the atmosphere they deserve. World Rugby has claimed a third of the 1.8m tickets may go to visitors.
But it's hard to imagine enough Pacific Island fans and those from Italy, Georgia, Russia, Namibia etc. turning up to drown out the polite applause.
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