If the events unfolding at the New Zealand Women's Interprovincial golf tournament in Napier were part of a pilot TV programme then it's fair to say the series wouldn't have made it to the next season.
That's because everything seems to be following a script that lacks any twists and turns after day three of the premier team's matchplay competition at the Maraenui Golf Club course.
Auckland and Manawatu/Whanganui have sealed their semifinal berths in division one but North Harbour, Canterbury and Bay of Plenty are still jostling for pole position in division two.
Remarkably, the swing-savvy teenagers from the City of Sails are still unbeaten although they've lost that magical 5-0 purple patch after No 2 Fiona Xu was all square with Wellington's Erika Cui for a 4.5-0.5 before they claimed another whitewash victim in Aorangi in the afternoon.
Come Saturday, Auckland remain overwhelming favourites to pick their treble bragging rights.
Tournament darlings Manawatu/Whanganui, also unblemished collectively, will face their first stern test against the division two qualifiers and seem likely to be progressing to the final.
That's based on their five wins although Auckland and Manawatu/Whanganui, with undefeated top seed Tara Raj, will have their dress rehearsal from 8.40am tomorrow on a single-round day.
Will the high fliers try to add more value to their glowing resume or will they opt for a que sera sera approach to preserve their energy for the playoffs the next day considering the sun will beat down on them at 30C intensity tomorrow?
In a sneaky sort of way it takes us back to the Rugby World Cup. Auckland, in particular, will be mindful of what happened to the All Blacks in the semifinal and then Kiwi slayers England in the final.
Getting too far ahead of themselves is a poor prescription although the girls from the Big Smoke haven't had an air of pretentiousness about them at all.
Hawke's Bay-Poverty Bay women ready to battle for national honours
Sure, they have attracted sideways glances from rival players but that's more indicative of oppositions coming to terms with their finality, as reflected in the yawning results.
North Harbour, Canterbury and BOP's statistics look anaemic in division two when juxtaposed with the division qualifiers but such assertions tend to have banana-skin qualities.
Factors such as quality of oppositions, byes and teams' mindset on tackling the tourney — as South Africa showed in the RWC — can throw the unsuspecting groups off the scent.
That is not to say other teams have nothing to play for with the playoffs now well out of their grasp.
Take for argument's sake, Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay who showed resolve this morning when they halved with Aorangi — after a mentally and physically exhausting day before when they went down 5-0 to Auckland and then 3.5-1.5 to Wellington.
Any remaining thread of playoff hopes were severed when the hosts had halved this morning but stumbled 3-2 to Taranaki in the afternoon.
The Martha Manaena-captained side, who have half a game to their credit and are languishing last on the division one table, now play for pride against Otago in their final outing today.
On the bright side Ellen Ball made her debut at No5 despite losing 5 and 6 to Kaye-Maree Mihaljevich, of Taranaki.
"It was really exciting [to make my debut] because even though I had a hard opponent it brought the best out in me," said the 14-year-old who attends Gisborne High School.
Walking the course for the past three days to absorb the proceedings, Ball said it was good to share the points with Aorangi.
The 12 handicapper wasn't sure if she was going to be at No 5, replacing Fiona Ellis who has yet to win a game after six rounds. Beating Otago will catapult them to fifth place, provided Taranaki doesn't beat or halve with Wellington today.
Top seed Tessa McDonald and No 4/captain Martha Manaena got on the right side of the ledger with two victories each while No 2 Janie Field was all square with Angela Gerken, of Aorangi.
For many teams, it's about blooding the young and the restless, irrespective of the margins of defeat.
For the likes of Ball, it's not how many times she'll go down for the count so early in her life that matters but how she'll pick up herself that'll define her amateur career.
Sure there's a risk of mental scarring but that's a given in any competition because investment in anything in life is a gamble but the returns make it all worthwhile in the long run.
Some may well ask how a Raj, from smalltown Central North Island, will fare against Vivian Lu from the other side of Bombay Hills.
Aorangi 2.5 Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay 2.5:
Ginny Bolderston lost to Tessa McDonald 4 and 3, Angela Gerken all square with Janie Field, Catherine Knight bt Clare Choi 2 and 1, Lynda Brown lost to Martha Manaena 3 and 2, Kathryn Baker bt Fiona Ellis 4 and 3.
North Harbour 3 Bay of Plenty 2: Anna An bt Caitlin Maurice 5 and 4, Vaha Fapiano lost to Jessica Green 4 and 3, Eunseo Choi bt Taylor-Rose Perrett 3 and 1, Yeonsoo Son bt Susan Short 4 and 2, Danika Lee bt Diane Syer 1up.
Otago 0 Manawatu/Whanganui 5: Sumin Kang lost to Tara Raj 4 and 3, Danielle Bailey lost to Zhuo Yi Hu 3 and 2, Tracey Storer lost to Brydie Hodge 7 and 6, Susan Greig lost to Lisa Herbert 1 down, Amy Johns lost to Lily Griffi 7 and 5.
Canterbury 5 Northland 0: Maddie May bt Shardae Bulkeley 5 and 4, Amy Weng bt Kylie Jacoby 3 and 2, Hillary O'Connor bt Sjanna Bishop 6 and 5, Olive Tapu bt Jenny Peters 2 and 1, Melissa Newburn bt Alayna Cox 6 and 5.
Wellington 0.5 Auckland 4.5: Darae Chung lost to Vivian Lu 5 and 4, Erika Cui all square with Fiona Xu, Alanah Gullery lost to Carmen Lim 4/3, Shontalia William lost to Angela Ju 2 and 1, Yewoo Hyun lost to Grace Jung 3 and 1.
Byes: Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato.
Bay of Plenty 4 Northland 1: Caitlin Maurice bt Shardae Bulkeley 3 and 2, Jessica Green lost to Kylie Jacoby 2 and 1, Aroha Tito bt Sjanna Bishop 4 and 3, Taylor-Rose Perrett bt Jenny Peters 6 and 5, Diane Syer lost to Alayna Cox 4 and 3.
Waikato 3 Tasman 2: Zahraa Bester lost to Lizzie Neale 4 and 2, Jill Morgan bt Eve Clarke 4 and 3, Sarah Hancock bt Emily Stenhouse 3 and 2, Robyn Pellow lost to Amber Boyce 3 and 2, Julie Gee bt Aroha Minhinnick 1up.
Auckland 5 Aorangi 0: Vivan Lu bt Ginny Bolderston 3 and 2, Fiona Xu bt Angela Gerken 6 and 4, Carmen Lim bt Catherine Knight 2 and 1, Angela Ju bt Lynda Brown 5 and 4, Grace Jung bt Kathryn Baker 5 and 4.
Wellington 4.5 Otago 0.5: Darae Chung bt Sumin Kang 6 and 5, Erika Cui bt Danielle Bailey 5 and 3, Alanah Gullery bt Tracey Storer 2 and 1, Shontalia William halved with Susan Greig, Yewoo Hyun bt Amy Johns 5 and 4.
Taranaki 3 Hawke's Bay/Poverty Bay 2: Tineka Kumeroa lost to Tessa McDonald 2 and 1, Joanne McDonald bt Janie Field 1up, Debbie McCallum bt Clare Choi 5 and 3, Kim Lucas lost to Martha Manaena 4 and 3, Kaye-Maree Mihaljevich bt Ellen Ball 6 and 5.
Standings (match pts/individual wins):
■ Div one: 1 Auckland 5/24.5; 2 Manawatu/Whanganui 5/23; 3 Wellington 3/12.5; 4 Aorangi 2.5/11; 5 Otago 1/6, 6 Taranaki 1/5.5, 7 HBPB 0.5/7.
■ Div two: 1 North Harbour 4/16; 2 Canterbury 3/15; 3 BOP 3/11.5; 4 Waikato 2/9.5; 5 Tasman 0/5, 6 Northland 0/3.
■ Rd 7, tomorrow:
7.30am: No 1 HBPB v Otago, No 10 Tasman v Northland.
8.05am: No 1 Wellington v Taranaki, No 10 Waikato v BOP.
8.40am: No 1 Auckland v Manawatu/Whanganui, No 10 Canterbury v North Harbour.
■ Playoffs, tomorrow: All play from No 1.
7.30am: Semifinal one.
8.05am: Semifinal two.