Clear the decks for the greatest rivalry in our rugby to write another chapter. If you're someone who likes a punt, the odds are getting shorter and shorter on the Blues hosting the Crusaders in the final of Super Rugby Transtasman on Saturday week at Eden Park.
On Friday night in Christchurch, the Crusaders responded to a 29-21 win over the Force as if they'd lost. It was a realistic reaction.
Given the weird, usually massively one-sided nature of the competition, it was never enough for a Kiwi team to win. Victory had to come with a bonus point, and twice the Crusaders hadn't had big enough margins.
Then in Canberra, a sterile icebox so unloved it was born for the phrase "I spent a fortnight there one weekend", the Brumbies tipped over the Hurricanes 12-10, and suddenly everything changed.
Next weekend the Crusaders have to beat the Rebels, take a bonus point, and win by at least 12 more points than the Highlanders do against, pause for drum roll, the Brumbies.
The Crusaders will probably play the Rebels at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, a familiar venue to many Crusaders, as it's where the All Blacks usually train before tests in Sydney.
The Highlanders? They're at GIO Stadium in Canberra, where they can expect to play in a balmy 4C atmosphere, without the wonderful benefit of the protection from the elements Forsyth Barr Stadium provides in Dunedin.
Five other talking points from a weekend that changed everything in Super Rugby Transtasman.
Welcome back, they miss you when you're away
One man doesn't make a rugby team, but the Blues always seem to have a touch more steel when Patrick Tuipulotu is in the middle of the pack. He was again a huge influence in the hard-fought 31-24 win over the Reds at Suncorp Stadium.
Tuipulotu has always sworn that when he was playing school rugby for St Peter's in Auckland he was basically scared a lot of the time, "copping it from my dad for not being tough enough."
If that's even remotely true (and keep in mind the self described scared kid made a New Zealand under-20 side for a world tournament straight out of school) he's certainly made up for lost time since he began his professional career.
Tuipulotu is at the heart of the physicality that has made the Blues a force again, channelling Jerome Kaino, the man he says he modelled himself on when first making the Blues in 2014. Kaino was the cornerstone of the great All Black sides that won World Cups in 2011 and 2015.
Kaino himself used to be genuinely uneasy when he was labeled a hardman. "It's not how my family would see me," he told me in a 2011 radio interview, "and it's certainly not how I see myself."
Like Kaino, Tuipulotu is softly spoken and self-effacing off the field. The bonus for the Blues is that in a game Tuipulotu, as Kaino did, tranforms into a raging bull.
This is not life as they know it
Good old fashioned jealousy means that one element in the Crusaders, the gift the likes of Richie Mo'unga and Will Jordan have to tear a defensive line to shreds with dazzling footwork and speed, is often ignored by the wider rugby community in favour of concentrating on the more dour aspects of the team's play.
Nevertheless, as exciting as their attack can be, the fact is that being able to shut out the opposition, and defend a lead, is a big strand in the Crusader DNA, going way, way back to the late 1990s.
What's been concerning in Super Rugby Transtasman is that the two moments that have backed them into a corner (which they may yet wriggle out of) both involved last-gasp tries by the opposition, by Rob Valetini for the Brumbies in the first round, and by Jordan Olowofela for the Force on Friday night.
The Crusaders not being able to batten down the hatches late in a game? That used to be as rare as a moment of modesty in a Donald Trump speech.
The Highlanders do have a strike weapon up the sleeve
All Black conditioning coach Nic Gill may have surprised some when he said the most driven All Black was Aaron Smith. But the knowledge that a man like Gill, deep in the belly of the All Black beast, rates Smith so highly, confirms the impression Smith has made this season. He's never played better.
The Highlanders were dynamic and then clinical in their 59-23 hiding of the hapless Waratahs in Dunedin on Saturday. They'll need all of that form against the Brumbies, and a little magic as well. If they have a final clinching bonus-point victory it'd be amazing if Smith wasn't a key figure.
One the Highlanders will need to watch every second
Brumbies loose forward Valetini was easily my man of the match in the 12-10 upset of the Canes on Saturday. The 22-year-old has a ferocious appetite for work, and when he's in the action there really is a touch of Marvel Comic superhero about him.
The Brumbies signed him when he was still at school in Melbourne, and he moved to Canberra as an 18-year-old. His Fijian parents, he told local journalists, thought the move out of his comfort zone would help him "grow up a bit."
Well done Mum and Dad. The first thing he did in Canberra in 2016 was learn how to drive. The rugby side, it seems obvious now, was just a case of honing a magnificent array of gifts from speed to strength to silky handling skills.
Don't blame Jordie, it was defence that cost the game
Jordie Barrett, like all goal kickers, has tasted the delights of winning a game with a late booming kick. In Canberra on the other hand, he had the bitter experience of missing two kicking chances that could have sneaked a victory.
But the key moment in the Canes' defeat came not in the dying stages of the match, but 11 minutes after halftime when the occasionally fragile defence - that even in winning games had been a concern for them - was exposed.
Veteran Brumbies halfback Nic White slipped an inside pass to centre Len Ikitau, who brushed past three attempted tackles to score the try that put his team ahead 12-10, a margin they held to the end. Had one of those tackles stuck the Hurricanes would be second on the table, and probably on their way to the final.