Super Rugby is done, and the tipping panel’s attention now becomes international – and with far bigger fish to fry with a Rugby World Cup rapidly approaching.
Who can stop the awesome All Blacks? The defending champions have well and truly buried the ghosts from Cardiff in 2007 by absolutely pummeling a poor France.
New Zealand ran in nine, yes nine, tries to post a 62-13 demolition. The All Blacks put on an exhibition of skills at times – the dancing feet of Nene Millner-Skudder, the power of Julian Savea, the smarts of Dan Carter, the passing of their forwards, the offloading of Sonny Bill Williams.
The team in black smashed France in all areas with a power game that was physical, swift and brutal. Fed by fast recycled ball, the French were run off their feet in the first 15 minutes and things only got worse.
The All Blacks had been criticised in the lead up to this quarter-final for holding back in the pool stage, for staying in first gear and not breaking a sweat against the minnows.
They had to get out of jail against Argentina but didn’t need to strain to beat the likes of Georgia and Tonga. Errors were strewn through their performances.
Some thought the Kiwis might be underdone coming into this match. They were wrong.
France haven’t thrilled in this World Cup and they were nowhere near New Zealand in the quarter-final. The 2011 champions made it look easy.
The All Blacks broke the line at will, making the ball sing from side to side, and left the French clutching air. They hit hard in defence and hardly made a mistake all night.
There was talk of a Gallic mutiny in the week leading up to this game. Obviously the French had sacked their defence coach as well and got rid of all their tackle bags.
The Europeans were out-muscled, out-thought and out-enthused. There was a lucky try to Louis Picamoles and then a brain-dead move from the same player to punch a prone Richie McCaw in the face.
On this form South Africa are up against it in the semi-finals. Slowing down this black juggernaut will be some feat.
The All Blacks made history in Cardiff, handing France their second biggest defeat ever by 49 points, while the 62 points was the most the French have ever conceded in a Test.
Ruthless, brilliant, intense. New Zealand’s masterclass was something to savour.
Follow John Davidson on Twitter @johnnyddavidson