However damaged transtasman relations are, they have held up for long enough to enable administrators from New Zealand and Australia to agree a compromise deal on what Super Rugby will look like next year.
Agreement has been reached that all 12 teams in next year's competition will play each other once, with a further three round-robin fixtures to be randomly allocated, before eight teams feature in a traditional playoff format which will see number one on the ladder play number eight and so forth.
The mechanism to determine which three 'additional' opponents each team will play has not yet been determined.
The Herald understands that while Rugby Australia wanted these extra games to be domestic fixtures – Australian teams playing Australian teams and New Zealand teams playing New Zealand teams – that won't be the case.
Their request was not granted amid concerns that the competition would instantly lack integrity if there was a heavy weighting on local derbies – with New Zealand sides having argued in the past that this creates inequity and sets them a much harder path to reach the finals than their Australian rivals.
A formula is being developed based on how the transtasman table finished this year and the only certainty to date is that the two new teams, Moana Pasifika and Fiji Drua, will definitely play each other twice in 2022.
In practice this means the Blues, for example, will play every team in the competition once, with three other games – likely to comprise one fixture against a team that finished close to the top of the transtasman table, one against a mid-level finisher and one against a side that came near the bottom – split to ensure they host a total of seven home fixtures.
All teams are guaranteed 14 round-robin fixtures with up to another three knockout games.
The new competition will kick off in February next year and be finished in mid-June, ahead of the July tests.
It will be played in one continuous bloc – to avoid the problems of the recent past where the competition had to go on hold for three weeks to allow test rugby to be played every June.
As is always the case with Super Rugby format negotiations, the final agreement reflects that both New Zealand and Australia have made significant compromises on their ideal scenarios.
New Zealand Rugby won a victory with the way the additional round-robin games are to be allocated, but they had to give up some financial benefits to get there.
Rugby Australia, whose balance sheet is in a precarious state, have been granted a greater share of revenue than was originally agreed earlier this year – a share that hasn't come with a request to accept a higher share of the costs.
NZR will be responsible for meeting a greater proportion of the costs – most significantly, they will carry much of the burden in helping fund Moana Pasifika and Fiji Drua.
In striking an improved financial agreement, however, RA had to drop its demand to play the competition in two separate conferences where Fiji would join the five Australian sides and Moana Pasifika play in the New Zealand conference.
RA wanted two full rounds of round-robin play in a conference format with playoffs conducted separately in each country before the winners of each met.
An announcement confirming the future of Super Rugby is expected to be made some time this week or early next.