Is this a dress rehearsal for the World Cup final on October 23? Many would respond, yes, going off form heading into this Auckland clash on Saturday.
New Zealand were mesmeric against the Boks last week as the guile of Dan Carter and return to form of Cory Jane saw them cruise to victory.
Australia had - not in such a slick style - done something similar to South Africa a week before that. And with the 2011 World Cup draw as it is, the likelihood of these two standing in front of each other for Webb Ellis glory seems a strong possibility. Then again, upsets could happen.
What is interesting in the lead-up to the global showpiece though is that we haven't heard the usual, 'the All Blacks have peaked too soon' argument. So has Graham Henry finally got the timing right to claim the trophy that's eluded them for 24 years? They certainly have a squad to do it.
This week they make seven changes but if anything it looks a stronger XV. Sitiveni Sivivatu and Hosea Gear will bring something different to that of Cory Jane and Zac Guildford, which is yet another example of the All Blacks having a few plans carefully tucked under their sleeve. It is also worth noting the change made in the closing stages against South Africa, when Colin Slade emerged at 10, thus pushing Dan Cater to 12. That also worked very well, so with Ma'a Nonu, Sonny Bill Williams and Conrad Smith strong options, a repeat of 2003 and 2007 when they thrust a full-back into the number 13 jersey is unlikely.
Depth is apparent all over the field in truth, with the likes of Liam Messam and Adam Thomson expected to push hard for Jerome Kaino's jersey. Lock and prop were once two areas of mini concern, but no more as the Franks brothers and Ali Williams' return to fitness eases any worries. Also fascinating is that the All Blacks this week have an average age of 29, while only six of these starting Wallabies were born when Oz last won in Auckland a quarter of a century ago. Along with age, this is New Zealand's most experienced team in 108 years as they look to respond following last year's 26-24 defeat in Hong Kong.
Psychological leg-ups and extra belief from that win and a possible one on Saturday cannot be downplayed - England's tour victories in New Zealand and Australia in July 2003 spring to mind. So if Australia can claim back-to-back wins before Brisbane, they can be delighted.
"Any occasion against the All Blacks is significant, to play them at Eden Park doubly so," explained the strangely under-pressure Wallabies head coach Robbie Deans.
"Clearly there's going to be a lot of scrutiny and a lot of interest around this game but from a players' perspective it is like any other. It's 80 minutes long, the whistle will blow, they'll get on with it and it should be a great contest."
Of that there is no doubt Mr Deans and one that may lead to some déjà vu later in October when the Bledisloe Cup will be joined on the sidelines by the coveted Webb Ellis trophy.
Ones to watch:
For New Zealand: Some believe that Chiefs winger Sitiveni Sivivatu endured a poor Super Rugby season and is unlikely to make New Zealand's World Cup line-up. I would have to disagree as the veteran showed, particularly towards the end of the season, that he still has the skills to be a useful weapon in the All Black arsenal. This week Cory Jane and Zac Guildford sit out for a powerful double act of Sivivatu and Hosea Gear, which shows yet another string to Graham Henry's bow going into September and October. A big game here from both guys manning the wings and Israel Dagg and Isaia Toeava will have a lot of work to do. Also keep an eye on returning forwards Brad Thorn and Keven Mealamu.
For Australia: With all due respect to South Africa, the opponents standing in front of the Wallabies in this Tri-Nations fixture will pose a greater threat than the second-string who were wearing green and gold in Sydney. Digby Ioane will not be given the same amount of freedom he has been getting of late so it will be interesting to see how he fronts up when the heat is on. Elsewhere and another strong performance from Pat McCabe could cement his spot at number 12 ahead of Matt Giteau while loosehead prop Sekope Kepu vitally needs to put in another stellar performance like the one he did against the Springboks.
Head-to-head: And so they meet again. David Pocock has arguably gotten the better of Richie McCaw in their recent meetings and if he can do the same in Auckland on Saturday, then a marker will have been firmly planted ahead of the World Cup. A personal victory will give both he and the Wallabies an extra dose belief and in doing so sew a few seeds of doubt into McCaw and his team-mates' thinking. The battle at number ten between in-form duo Dan Carter and Quade Cooper won't be too hard on the eyes either.
Prediction: An away victory here would be a huge psychological boost for Australia, but I can't see it happening. The ABs have too much, notably on the bench. New Zealand by 7!
New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Samuel Whitelock, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Sonny Bill Williams.
Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom (c), 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Dan Vickerman, 19 Scott Higginbotham, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Anthony Fainga'a, 22 Lachie Turner.
Date: Saturday, 6 August
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19:35 (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Glen Jackson
By Adam Kyriacou