Wallabies face World Cup wipeout
Four nations can win next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan now the All Blacks' right to rule has been rattled yet, sadly, Australia's Wallabies are not among them.
Ireland's well-drilled and skilled heroes, the resurgent yet hot-and-cold South Africans and the team coached by Eddie Jones have all dented the Kiwi armour recently.
On form, the call can't be challenged and the intrigue is whether Michael Hooper's Wallabies can catch a freak wave to catch up a little.
Upsetting Eddie's England at Twickenham on Sunday morning would shake-up the vibe because no team wants to head into the off-season completely on the nose.
The Wallabies have fluffed their lines way too often this year already but Will Genia's 100th Test deserves to rouse something special from his teammates.
The great thing about watching the TV marathons of rugby Tests from the northern hemisphere over the past fortnight has been pegging the good, bad and ugly of each team.
Ireland's superb 16-9 victory on the weekend was the biggest shock for the All Blacks in Dublin since the Wallabies played just as well to knock them off in the 1991 World Cup semi-final.
Every office Kiwi is a little less cocky today.
In so many ways, the Irish were everything the Wallabies have not been this year.
They won because they had a lineout that works and a winger like Jacob Stockdale who can gather a supreme chip-and-chase kick like it's not an unfathomable skill.
The wonderful switch play to the short side that generated the Test's one try was a beauty, another rugby basic too little employed by Wallaby backs.
Instead, of a stupid Kurtley Beale cutout pass blooper on his own tryline in Port Elizabeth, the practical Irish put up a contestable kick from their 22 to exit from every kick-off.
Unlike the Wallabies, the Irish never exposed themselves to flipping the ball crabwise to the sideline where a turnover might be run back 50m for a counter-attack try.
Israel Folau's two wasteful one-handed offloads to no one in particular weren't just a scar against Italy because Wallabies have been doing that dumb stuff all year.
The Irish defence was jolting and smothering and they expertly knew how to recycle their own ball to keep the pressure on and pinch a little too through titan Peter O'Mahony.
All Blacks Brodie Retallick, Kieran Read and Beauden Barrett all dropped the ball. Pressure.
It had taken 113 years for the Irish to beat the All Blacks in Dublin and the city went crazy.
The Wallabies don't need to watch a replay of any of their performances this year to get inspired to face England. They need to watch and learn from the Irish.
The Irish have closed the gap but are still ranked No.2 in the rankings when they deserve plaudits today as the best team in the world right now.
The Wallabies are No.6 but deserve to be even lower if they don't have the smarts to change failed patterns of play. Quickly. In time for Eddie.