It has been so long since Australia were a credible rugby power with all their various development stars in alignment that it has become ingrained to see them as anything other than perennial underachievers.
If Kiwis are honest, they have written off the Australians: stopped believing that the Bledisloe Cup will ever again be the way it used to be – tense, fraught, genuinely in the balance because the Wallabies could never be trusted to lie down and take a beating.
Not once in the last 20 years has anyone looked across the Tasman at the declining force of the Reds and Waratahs, the inconsistency of the Wallabies and the horror show at the Rebels and felt that sinking fear of being left behind: that pang of envy combined with admiration that was once the only way to feel about the Australians as they kept so cleverly and resiliently making not much go so far.
But the prospect of that all changing is high now that Australia has been confirmed as the hosts of both the 2027 and 2029 World Cups.
The British and Irish Lions will be touring there in 2025 as well and we could now be at the moment the balance of power in Australasian rugby has shifted and New Zealand's dominance in the transtasman rivalry has ended.
Australia now have the path to recovery and the means to break free from the clouded thinking and high-performance malaise that has forced them to relish victories against Scotland way more than they should have these last 20 years.
The three events they are going to host are more than a band aid being stuck on a gaping wound. These are serious fixes to serious problems because all three will not only flood the game with enough money to fill the hole in Rugby Australia's balance sheet, they'll also ignite a nationalistic fervour that will draw people to the sport as both participants and fans.
Big events galvanise the Australians in a way they don't other nations. Look how the country united behind the 2000 Olympics. The big stage with the world watching is where Australians want to be.
The next seven years present Australia with an almost unprecedented opportunity to reconnect with their indefatigable spirit and grow rugby's standing, and while it's unlikely they will usurp either league or AFL as the premier codes, they could blast past New Zealand as a rugby power.
It may seem an almost deranged notion to be touting hopeless old Australia, who haven't been remotely close to regaining the Bledisloe Cup since they lost it in 2003, as the All Blacks' most likely future nemesis, but there is precedent here on which to hang this bold, dystopian claim.
Australia's last great era was built on the twin hosting rights of the Lions and World Cup.
The Wallabies were losing momentum after their 1991 triumph, but they were granted hosting rights to the 2003 World Cup in 1997 and reclaimed the Bledisloe the following year.
New heroes emerged, their game evolved and they won the 1999 World Cup three years after slumping to a record defeat to the All Blacks in Wellington.
The Lions were beaten in 2001 and that same year, the Brumbies won their first Super Rugby title.
It was all Australia back then. They had the money, the population, the economic horsepower and the ability to find ways to keep beating the All Blacks, no defeat being more painful than the one the Wallabies inflicted in the semifinal of the 2003 World Cup.
If there was a moment that confirmed they were the superior Australasian rugby force, it was that 22-10 victory in Sydney, for they had outsmarted New Zealand to win the hosting rights to that tournament and then outsmarted them again on the field.
They won concession to have a fourth team in Super Rugby and such was their standing in their relationship with New Zealand and so promising was their future, that if they had asked for Waltzing Matilda to be played at full volume in the All Blacks changing room before tests, they probably would have had their request granted.
Australia were once great and they can be again now that World Rugby has handed them the keys to the Ferrari.
New Zealand should be on high alert, because although they have craved an Australian revival for much of the last decade to give the Bledisloe some sense of intrigue and rivalry, they haven't envisioned a world where they quickly become the junior partner.
But that world, the one where the Brumbies become Super Rugby's dominant force and the Wallabies look punch drunk on the ropes only to miraculously keep snatching the unlikeliest Bledisloe wins, is no more fanciful than petrol costing $4 a litre.