Six talking points from the All Blacks' impressive 27-7 win over Australia at Eden Park.
SO CAMPO, HOW'S THAT AURA LOOKING NOW?
I have an enormous amount of time for David Campese, a stunning player, who since he retired loves nothing more than being the king of stirrers, albeit without any real malice.
He relished the chance to niggle Kiwis last week after a performance in Wellington that nobody in the All Black camp was happy with. And yes, there was more than a grain of truth in his idea that another below-par effort and the fear factor for a side facing New Zealand might fade right away. Thankfully for All Black fans the Wallabies now know the days of All Blacks as easybeats are still over the far horizon.
THE CHILD MIGHT GO FURTHER THAN THE MAN
Caleb Clarke's father, Eroni, during a 10-test career with the All Blacks in the 1990s, was a terrific footballer - strong, fearless and fast.
But Caleb, just 21 years old, has shown in less than 80 minutes of test rugby that his international future is limitless. His display in the All Black victory, in his first test as a first choice wing, was so stunning that in 50 years old men will be telling their grandkids about the day they saw Caleb Clarke's first start in a test.
He broke tackles so easily my mind went back through the honour list of potent Pasifika three-quarters, to Jonah Lomu, to Va'aiga Tuigamala, to the great Sir Bryan Williams. His running with the ball was impressive enough, but possibly the best example of Clarke's extraordinary strength was a defensive moment when three Wallabies tried to shove him into touch, and he backed the group away from the sideline, as if he was pushing off a giant gold jerseyed crab.
The lovely bonus is that the son is as humble and charming as the father. As he came off the ground to a standing ovation after 67 minutes, "I got caught up in the moment, and I wanted to jog and clap everybody else as well. But then I started cramping, so I had to walk."
AND THAT'S WHY HE'S THE CAPTAIN
Last week in Wellington Sam Cane produced as good a defensive display as I've seen in 55 years of reporting on test rugby. So it was entirely fitting that the first play of the game in Auckland saw him make a juddering tackle.
What was really exciting at Eden Park was his running with the ball, never failing to make ground, and then topping it all off by weaving away from tackles on his way to the 53rd-minute try that sealed the game.
In 2018 Ian Foster, then the assistant All Black coach to Steve Hansen, told me where he hoped to see Cane's game develop. His words now feel prescient.
"With Sam his size and physicality has become his trademark. And he's still working hard on his distribution and his ball carrying as well. We saw that with Richie [McCaw], later in his career, how he developed his passing and skill set. The good thing about great players is that if you highlight an area you want them to improve, it's the determination to get better in that area that often defines them."
WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT RUGBY IN SUNSHINE?
It'll no doubt get ever hotter when the All Blacks play in Australia into late November, but it was 20 degrees when the teams ran onto Eden Park, so little wonder Caleb Clarke wasn't the only one suffering from cramp.
But as brutal as it may be for the players, as a spectator a good game in the light of a warm day will always be more enjoyable than the same game on a cold, dark night.
NOT EVEN REMOTELY LIKE TIDDLYWINKS
Watching the two captains, Cane and Michael Hooper, gingerly assemble the body parts to walk away from the aftermatch press conference was a reminder that no matter how fit and powerful players are, test rugby, especially when you're playing as a loose forward, the ultimate collision position, smashes the body.
A fellow journalist suggested to Cane that he didn't look as banged up as he had after the test in Wellington last week. Cane smiled. "That's just because I don't have blood coming from my eyebrow, but I'm pretty banged up, believe me."
SOME WALLABIES MAY BE GETTING A COLD FEELING OF A BLADE IN THE NECK AREA
Australian coach Dave Rennie was gracious and honest about why the game was lost. "(Our) individual tackles were poor, and we got put under heat as a result."
So what could be done to make the defensive performance better? With a face that would make him a very competitive poker Rennie murmured, "Selections can sometimes fix that, can't they?"