Phil Gifford's five rugby wishes ahead of the Tri-Nations tournament which starts on Saturday week in Sydney.
1) That we learn to relax and just enjoy a win
It's a strange part of the New Zealand rugby psyche that we find it so hard to fully relish a good All Blacks win.
Yes, it's true that one reason the All Blacks have been so consistently good for so long is that players and coaches have never liked to bask in glory. I've scoured my memory bank, and the closest I can find to an All Black conceding that his side had maybe, yes, possibly, basically played as near to a perfect game as you'd ever see was Graham Henry in 2011, when, after a very good Wallabies team was brilliantly dispatched 20-6 in the World Cup semifinal, Henry said, "I thought it was an outstanding performance tonight. I'm very proud of them."
But do some fans, and journalists, really need to be so dour and hard to please? When during the week you read one commentator saying that "the All Blacks have proven nothing" after beating Australia 27-7 at Eden Park you start to wonder if it was a Kiwi, possibly with a keyboard, who invented the term misery guts.
2) That the open season on Sam Cane continues to be closed down for a little bit longer
When he was appointed as All Black captain in May the wolves were at Cane's door in a hurry. He, if you believed it all, lacked authority, wasn't even the best No 7 in the country, and, before a single test was played, was already a big Ian Foster mistake.
Cane is one of the most mature players of his generation. There is more than a hint of the temperament of another All Black leader from the heartland, Brian Lochore, about him. Like Lochore, talking with Cane away from the formality of an after-match press conference is a genuine pleasure. And I've never seen an All Black who commits himself more during a game.
All of the above doesn't mean Cane deserves a free pass if he gets things wrong on the field. But wouldn't it be great to think that in this weird, disjointed, stressful year, a good keen man, as Cane is, would at least get a fair go?
3) That the captain of England learns how to tackle properly
The tackling technique of Owen Farrell is a disgrace, and a blot on the game. Just last month in London, playing for Saracens, Farrell knocked a Wasps player, Charlie Atkinson, out cold. Atkinson, an 18-year-old in his first year out of school, is expected to miss the rest of the northern season.
Farrell has a ton of form for high tackling, but excuses are endlessly trotted out for him by his coaches, the English media, and, ultimately, he's usually given what amounts to a free pass by the game's officials.
His national coach Eddie Jones says that Farrell "is always working" on how he tackles. The high tackle that pole-axed Atkinson was, Jones says "a mistake in a game" but "we've moved on from that and now (Farrell's) job is to be the best England captain he can be".
4) That Caleb Clarke progresses as well as other sensational All Blacks wings did after their test debuts
Clarke, at 21, isn't exceptionally young to be a revelation as a test winger. Sir Bryan Williams, Sir John Kirwan, and Jonah Lomu were all only 19 when they played their first internationals.
Like Clarke they were lauded at the start of their careers, and the good news is that they largely dealt with what at times was near hysteria, from both fans and commentators. Their massive promise didn't fade with exposure to the international spotlight, as they all developed into the best wings of their time in the world.
Caleb Clarke, from a warm, supportive family, should manage to stay just as grounded as the men who started as teenagers in the 70s (Williams), 80s (Kirwan), and then the 90s (Lomu) did.
5) That every All Black will just wear a damned mouthguard
Mouthguards have been around since the late 1960s. But when they were first introduced some players moaned that they were hard to breathe through, and some flatly refused to wear them.
It was a standing joke in Auckland club rugby in the 1970s that whenever Ponsonby and Waitemata played each other on a Saturday, the first appointment a dentist in the Ponsonby team had on a Monday morning was to tend to the teeth he'd loosened in the unprotected mouth of a fiery Waitemata player he'd been marking.
Being reminded during the week that, amongst others in the All Blacks, Ardie Savea doesn't often wear a mouthguard, maybe it's time for more campaigns like those run in the distant past, when they were a novelty, to point out mouthguards not only protect teeth, jaws, and tongues, but can also help prevent concussion.