My theory is that wingers get only a couple of years at their peak. Maybe less. So hard for the great Rieko Ioane, peaking between world cups. But hey, this month, have we got the best wing in the world right now or what? And another not far off it? Good timing, George Bridge and Sevu Reece. Brilliantly good.
Tonga's got the best bearded hooker, Sione Anga'aelangi, which is saying something, because total respect for Liam Coltman, his beard is pretty good too. But it's not saying much really because beards don't win world cups.
What does win world cups? Confidence? The best record that year, the previous four years? Referees who are so in awe of you they let you get away with standing offside and going off your feet? It's like asking what is art. For every answer there's an exception to prove you wrong. The All Blacks are always confident but sometimes they lose, sometimes when you least expect it. They had the best record, filled all the refs with so much awe until that one time, and then another one time, and another, when they didn't.
What's the rugby equivalent of dot balls? In one-day cricket, the team with fewer dot balls will win. True, mostly. But in rugby, teams with less possession often win, so you can't look at run metres or number of passes.
It's not best beards, we've established that, and sorry guys but it's not best hair cuts either. Though someone should definitely write a social history of All Blacks hair cuts. My favourite time was when hippies had long hair and All Blacks with short back and sides scoffed, and then All Blacks suddenly had long hair too. Best thing Chris Laidlaw ever did.
By the way, have you seen the new publicity shots for Jack Goodhue where he doesn't have a mullet? He'll be useless now, or unstoppable. So hard to know which.
Winning without having possession: it's a function of defence being better than attack. Steve Hansen says somebody's going to "crack that one", and he believes it could be the All Blacks.
Course he does. I'm not so sure. It looks to me like it's almost the only thing the ABs don't know how to do, because chipping it over or through defensive lines is still what they try most often and it doesn't work, guys, it just doesn't work, not against decent teams.
The thing that's exciting, though, is that all the decent teams will be trying to crack the defensive domination and there's only one way: to play such fast and daring rugby their opponents will just fall on their knees in worship. This could be so good.
Biggest win in years: The stunning stats from All Blacks romp
Bring on the world: All Blacks run riot in Tonga thrashing
Mind you, in those big games the All Blacks will probably be without their stop-the-try-on-the-line specialist, Patrick Tuipulotu. He needs to share his wisdom with Sevu Reece. They should room together, so Paddy can wake Sevu up every hour to practise how not to run off your line when some clever bugger is spinning past you determined to score a try.
Reece did that against Tonga, which means it's fair to say he isn't actually one of the best wingers in the world, not yet. But you know what they say: he'll be the better for it, after that game.
We could do with some quick rule changes. How about you can bring on specialists for special moments, the way they bring on the goal kicker in American football? Bring on Paddy when they're defending the line. Bring on a hooker for lineout throws if Dane Coles has a shocker like in the Aussie game. Bring on Zinzan Brooke if we need a drop goal from halfway.
Whatever happened to skills like that?
Another good rule change: give the weak teams 50 points for a try. That'd sharpen things up.
If there was a world cup for entertaining rugby against weak teams, the All Blacks would definitely win it. Did we learn anything?
Yes. Josh Ioane should be going to Japan: give him game time in every pool match and watch him grow. Ngani Laumape should be going: the All Blacks backline ran rings around the Tongans, but did the midfield ever punch its way through the middle?
And there was that one truly special moment when super-skilled forwards elbowed the backs out of the way and passed the ball over and round and back and forth to each other, and Kieran Read didn't drop the ball but scored instead, and a couple of the backs were there, just hanging around to watch. That's what we learned. They're that good. We're that good.
Japan will be thrilling. Great 21st-century cities, blossom trees everywhere, the best sushi. To be honest I'm guessing, I've never been there and even though I'm going to be writing the journey of a rugby fan, right through the cup, it's not like they're putting me on the plane or anything. I'll be stuck at home, just like everyone else, listening to whomever Spark gets to replace Justin Marshall.
I have one request for Spark. Well, two. The first is that the streaming works, obv. The second is that they enforce a contractual obligation on all their commentators to support the refs' calls on dangerous play. It's not a lot to ask.
In Hamilton on Saturday it was 92-7, afternoon rugby in the best stadium in the country, and just wow. I'm so excited.
Mainly, I think, because of Bridge and Reece, and Ardie Savea getting to start, and the Richie and Beaudie show. New and different and better, and all just at the right time. Also, my initials are SBW so that's gotta count for something.
Besides, after a whole season supporting the Blues as best I could – honest, I really did try, I wrote up every glimmer of hope week after anguished week – I reckon I deserve this.
And in the office sweepstake I've got Russia.
Don't laugh, I hear there are 15 "social media specialists" in that team and they don't lose. So sure, it will be great watching the All Blacks go nearly all the way. But you read it here first: NZ v Russia in the final, and I'll be in the money.
• Simon Wilson's Rugby World Cup diary will appear after every All Blacks game, or until the bitter end, if that turns out to be the way it is.