NOT for the first time in history, the recent tours by the north to the world's rugby powers in the south did not show any signs that the balance of power was going to shift anytime soon.
Wales went the closest, agonisingly so against Australia twice in three Tests and by the closest of margins, but that was about it.
Ireland almost rocked the boat in New Zealand but only once in three Tests.
The fact of the matter is they simply didn't have enough to be of any serious threat, while by all reckoning England would need another two years of their rebuilding programme.
Scotland did well but only against an under-strength Wallabies and the lower ranked Pacific islanders and look likely to remain neither here nor there in the world order.
The French too were consistent in being inconsistent, leaving no clue as to whether they were coming or going.
After the resumption of club and provincial competitions this weekend, the next internationals will take place in about two months time, during the expanded southern Rugby Championship which will include the Pumas for the first time.
Following the recent Tests, the bet is again on the All Blacks winning the trophy. Despite the hiccup in the second Test against Ireland, the ticks in the boxes were all in favour of the All Blacks, as opposed to the other three in the Championship.
Initially there were concerns when injuries forced out senior players Cory Jane, Ali Williams, Kieran Read, Richard Kahui and Dan Carter but the youngsters who took their spots were simply outstanding, giving New Zealand a sigh of relief that the production line was doing its job after all.
Now the question is what happens to the new kids on the block when the seniors are ready to play again?
A situation many other countries would envy, no doubt.
The Wallabies were poor in the set-pieces and blunt in attack. Maybe they missed Quade Cooper and James O'Connor but that can also be taken to mean that they lack depth, unlike their bitter rivals across the Tasman.
The Springboks won but could not overwhelm a relatively inexperienced England.
They played with a new pairing in the second row and could be excused for conceding their long dominance in the lineouts but their overall performance across the park was simply mediocre.
The grunt was lacking and that was one of the first things you would expect from South Africa with their big forwards.
The north will have a chance to try and turn the situation around later this year, during the autumn tours by the south, more so because they will be playing at home.
Wales look the most likely to trouble the All Blacks, with England probably next.
Wales will also have another crack at the Wallabies, who also play France, England and Italy while the Springboks play Ireland, Scotland and England.
But it was not all heavens for New Zealand rugby -- their previously all-conquering Under-20 side losing the final of the Junior World Cup 16-22 to South Africa.
It was the first time too in five tournaments that both finalists had lost a pool match each.