It is not something All Blacks fans like to think about - the dark day last October when our rugby team got trampled by big beefy blokes in white.
But nearly a year on, after a pandemic outbreak and with a reinvented Super Rugby competition, the Rugby World Cup blues are well and truly gone.
And maybe that has a bit to do with the reinvigorated Blues.
The improved form of the local team is not the only thing that is better about the new rugby environment.
Super Rugby Aotearoa has served up high-intensity, competitive rugby before the largest crowds the country has seen for non-international rugby games in many years.
The focus on a top national contest at home with our own players rather than one diluted by overseas travel and uneven quality is a major improvement for fans. It is more in the style of the English premiership competition.
The opening games were expected to be drawcards after lockdown, but the public interest has been maintained. Holding one on a Sunday afternoon has been a masterstroke for player handling skills and for attracting families and good vibes in sunshine-soaked stands.
Even the reduced number of games on a weekend has made the ones that are played anticipated events.
Aside from now competing for the title, the long under-performing Blues may even provide a new template for the national side.
Heading into the World Cup competition in Japan, plenty of fans were worried that the All Blacks were a bit under-powered.
The team still had mobility and flair and skill to burn but there was no one with the imposing mix of size, power and a desire to throw themselves about like Jerome Kaino in the loose forwards or Julian Savea on the wing as there had been at previous tournaments.
England and South Africa were seen as the exponents of dynamic play and brutal physicality.
The All Blacks tried starting with lock Scott Barrett on the blindside for the semifinal with England, but predictably missed Sam Cane's bruising defence in the first half.
Generally, it seemed as though some bulkier, ball-carrying forwards might have helped the All Blacks' cause.
This year the Blues have big, hulking forwards in abundance and it is the pack that is operating as a unit, setting the platform for better performances and results.
Some, such as prop Ofa Tu'ungafasi (1.95m, 129kg), lock Patrick Tuipulotu (1.98m, 120kg) and loose forward Akira Ioane (1.94m, 113 kg), appear to have discovered or rediscovered just how formidable and damaging they can be. The forwards have at times monstered opposing packs.
Ioane, Hoskins Sotutu (1.92m, 106kg) and Dalton Papalii (1.93m, 113kg) can be punishing runners.
And out by the sideline is the power-packed Caleb Clarke (1.89m, 107kg), the type of damaging player the All Blacks used to like to have in their wing armoury.
Instead, at the World Cup the favoured wings were Crusaders George Bridge (1.86m, 96kg) and Sevu Reece (1.79m, 87kg).
The upcoming clash between the Blues and the Crusaders at Eden Park on August 16 will be an interesting contrast in playing styles and tactics.
There are other big, crunching forwards on show in the Crusaders, Chiefs, Highlanders and Hurricanes. It is a matter of form, potential and selectors deciding that a new start demands a different approach.
And the Blues-print suggests it can succeed.