The events of Saturday night have brought a few old chestnuts back into the international rugby conversation, with the game's inflexible and possibly now outdated eligibility rules being the focal point.
Tonga, brave to the end, resilient, proud and committed, were beaten up and run off their feet by the All Blacks.
The visitors gave all they had, but the problem was, they just didn't have that much to give as while there were 23 committed Tongans playing their hearts out in Auckland, there were arguably 23 better Tongans scattered all over the world not playing their hearts out.
The primary cause of Tonga's access plight was Covid. Many of their European-based players simply couldn't get to New Zealand and through the 14-day quarantine in time to be able to play.
Some of them, with only a month off before they are due to report back for club duty to begin the new Northern Hemisphere season in August, didn't fancy spending most of their time off in quarantine – a torture for which they would also mostly have to personally meet the costs.
What we had on Saturday night was a Tongan team impacted by a perfect storm of debilitating factors, the worst of which will be fixed when enough of the world is vaccinated to ease open borders, eliminate the need for quarantine and make the business of getting on planes to travel from A to B as simple and as timely as it used to be.
But a return to the good old days of unrestricted travel will not fix all of the problems Tonga and the other Pacific Island nations continue to face as they try to pull together test teams that are more reflective of the enormous pools of talent they all possess.
If the world gets Covid under control, we will see a much improved version of Tonga. But if World Rugby also gets eligibility under control, we will be looking at an altogether different version of Tonga again: one that is unlikely to see them fall to such crushing defeats.
The crux of Tonga's issue – which is the same for Samoa and Fiji – is that they have rugby diaspora they cannot access.
Charles Piutau, Vaea Fifita and Malakai Fekitoa are just three of many recent All Blacks who would dearly love to be playing for the Ikale Tahi – but who can't due to World Rugby's insistence that it believes in players only ever representing one nation in a career – yet argues at the same time that the World Cup must be a showcase of all of the game's best talent.
Piutau, Fifita, Fekitoa as well as others such as Steven Luatua, Ngani Laumape, Waisake Naholo and Charlie Faumuina are currently destined to be watching the next World Cup, but with one amendment to the current laws, they could be thrust back into action, instantly and dramatically improving the quality and experience of all three Island nations.
All it would take is a third and successful attempt to amend the rules to allow for players who have played for one country, to serve a stand down period and then represent another.
No one wants a return to the Grannygate farce of 2000 when players could not only play for one country one week and another the next – but that all they needed to do to make that happen was say, rather than prove, they had a grand-parent born somewhere or other.
But a well-policed new world where those who can prove their dual eligibility are able to switch allegiance after an agreed stand down period, would hardly strike at the credibility of the international game in the same way that seeing Tonga humiliated 102-0 does.
It would also cut off another avenue that damages the sport's credibility – which is the Sevens route where players whose eligibility has been captured can re-qualify for another nation if they play in Olympic-qualifying tournaments.
"There are a few players ready to be capped," said Tonga's coach Toutai Kefu when asked about his thoughts on a potential change to eligibility laws.
"It is just all about timing. I believe there should be a stand down period. My opinion is that the extra hoop that they have to jump through in terms of playing sevens is probably a layer of complication we don't need.
"I would be happy with a three or four year stand down. That would suit us and if that becomes possible our team transforms."
Such a proposal – backed and driven by New Zealand – has been rebuffed (2004 and 2009) twice already by World Rugby.
Kefu remains sceptical about the chances of change being delivered – feeling no doubt shared by his fellow Pacific Island coaches, who have all been conditioned to rejection and disappointment when it comes to their treatment.
"I hope so," Kefu said when he asked if he could ever see the change happening. "And before my coaching tenure runs out, if not the next coach will have a really good team. I hope so but we can voice our opinion as a union or as a coaching group, but these changes need to be discussed at a higher level."