You know that international rugby is back on a good footing when it's harder to predict the result than the All Black lineup before a test.
Brisbane on Saturday night was a terrific rugby tonic, if not a cork-popping occasion.
The stain of 2007 - the bizarre All Black World Cup campaign and the snubbing of Robbie Deans - will never go away. It is in the history books, as indelible as the Deans non-try a century ago, the 1981 Springboks tour, the 1987 World Cup triumph, the brilliant deeds of Michael Jones and Bryan Williams et al, the thuggery of Richard Loe. In other words all the good and bad and everything in between that make up any great sport.
History is there to be studied, not revised by flinging around words such as "redemption". The only crumbs that can be offered to the revisionists is that the 2007 stain was given a light washing in Brisbane on Saturday night. It is still the tumultuous beast that is South African rugby which gets to polish the Webb Ellis trophy, for those who may have forgotten.
Stirring. Nail biting. The All Blacks' victory on Saturday in one of the best football stadiums on the planet was as good as sport gets if you can stand the fact that rugby has turned into a kickfest. So important is the boot that it is now the method of choice for getting the ball to the wing, via the league-style crossfield kick. The blokes on the receiving end may not even be designated wings, and they leap about like players from Aussie Rules. Even locks and loose forwards are nudging through passes a-la soccer star Wayne Rooney, although there is no evidence of Cristiano Ronaldo wizardry in rugby - just yet. It's a hybrid footy world.
Possession is also no longer nine-tenths of a decent score and a Wallaby team that has been resurrected under Deans was found wanting in power and momentum despite a massive supply of ball. As Deans says, the Wallabies are on the right track. But their travels won't get much further until Deans uncovers a few runaway trains (although Ryan Cross looks most promising).
So Graham Henry has righted his own ship, and all power to him because these All Blacks played fantastic test football under extreme pressure in Brisbane. A moderately strong All Black side boasting two all-time greats has won the Tri-Nations against an Australian team that needs more world-class players, and a Springbok outfit that needs a world-class coach. This has not been achieved, however, via the grandiose world of Graham Henry, 2007 style. The All Blacks have gone back to the tried and true basics of stable selections, picking players on form then giving them chance to shine in a cohesive unit.
The All Blacks won the 2008 series and retained the Bledisloe Cup in no small part due to the scrapping of the bizarre rotational selection policies that blighted last year's World Cup bid.
The test season didn't start promisingly in this regard in a number of areas - for instance Rodney So'oialo was played out of position and the selectors didn't have a clue who the second-best available wing was.
Whether Henry, Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith eventually felt compelled into handing in the same team sheet week after week by the dwindling number of quality players available to them, or whether they came to realise roulette was no way to build a unified team, is harder to tell.
Whatever the reason for the change in heart, what matters is that the selectors have come to their senses. It is paying dividends in both individual performances, and in creating a belief within the side that they can battle their way out of dire situations.
It should also be easier for Henry, Steven Hansen and Wayne Smith to work out if a player has what it takes at test level, whereas under the pick-and-mix strategy it could be argued that poor individual performances were the result of shaky combinations.
From the fans' point of view, coherent selections are restoring an identity to the All Blacks, putting rhyme and reason back into the arguments, and giving a value to the black jersey way beyond the balderdash found in the advertisements.
For some magical reason, players who were deemed unable to stand the week-to-week rigours of test match rugby last year despite having a sabbatical during the Super 14 are now able to front up time and time again, and win a Tri-Nations competition. Funny that.
With their backs against the wall, the All Black selectors have accepted a policy defeat, although of course they would never publicly admit it.
Here's another mystery. Large chunks of mankind who fling themselves in little Dan Carter's direction keep finding themselves spinning into Never-Never-Land.
It happened again in Brisbane, when the 100kg Ryan Cross tried to smash Carter, only to find that the 90kg wonder was busy trundling over the tryline.
This sort of thing happens repeatedly with Carter. There aren't many lighter players in test rugby and he doesn't mind getting into the odd scrape. Considering Carter's influence, opponents aren't likely to go lightly on him either.
He carefully picks the moments to hold up the bullseye that he carries around, but the arrows never stick to the target. Carter has a remarkable ability to keep skipping ahead while tacklers bounce away, as if they've just charged into an electric fence.
Strength. Timing. Balance. Speed. Nimble feet. All or some of the above. Whatever it is, Carter has something remarkable going on in this department which thousands of other footballers can only wish they also had.
As a friend remarked over dinner on Saturday, Carter is not exactly out of the Fancy Phil Bennett school of sidestepping either.
His movements are almost imperceptible, yet brilliantly efficient.
What the All Black selectors have done during the Tri-Nations though - in regards to selections - is far more obvious but just as effective.