Tim Sheridan is a reporter with Wide World of Sports and an integral member of the National Nine News team.
Wait six months and the Wallabies will be at least 60 percent stronger. Can the same be said about the All Blacks?
We all know the Wallabies should have grabbed a winning field goal in the third Bledisloe Test in Brisbane. The final seconds contained so many bizarre mistakes and frustrating moments, but mixed in were some identifiable green shoots of a revival.
As they did at Suncorp 14 months earlier, the Wallabies took it to the All Blacks physically. But hang on; there were five
returning All Black forwards, and not one
Aussie from last year? Not bad. Players like Kane Douglas, James Hanson and Michael Hooper have benefitted enormously, and the list of experienced players still to return is long.
A try-less Test had the rugby-bashers out in force, but the only bashing worth talking about here was the exchange between these two teams. It was ferocious and impressive enough for this occasion to beg forgiveness for no tries. Maybe being on the sideline distorts and magnifies, but the Wallabies lost no fans when their backs were to their try line.
In Australia, a major problem for rugby is that critics look at it through the prism of another code. This is to be expected, but the comparison ends at Australia's border, beyond which one code is irrelevant, and the other is enormous.
The local code can adjust its rules when it pleases, the other might as well be trying to run the UN.
On the subject of global concerns, the Wallabies will be at full operating temperature when they test out the early season combinations of France, Italy, England and Wales.
They should win all four matches.
On rugby's over-populated field, getting on the other side of the defence is the game's holy grail, and Kurtley Beale has become the one to send after it. Given some snappy phase ball, Beale runs hard onto it and can put a defender in doubt, or isolate him.
As John Eales says, the game is then dialled to the attacking team's pace; the opposition cannot dictate numbers - or lack of them - at the breakdown, and possession becomes easier to retain. A pick and drive perhaps, and then go again Kurtley.
Get a relentless forward pack in front of Beale and the likes of James O'Connor around him next year, and some holes will open up.
At fullback, Kurtley seems to field the ball and looks to be deciding how to beat the whole 15 players in front of him (or how high to kick the ball). At flyhalf he instinctively hits the ball running - already at the defensive line - and looks a different player.
Critics can say what they like about fullback Mike Harris, but his goal kicking gives the Wallabies a necessary, if dour, option for Europe. Field position will yield points from penalties. How often have we had it done to us?
Wallabies fans I walked with leaving Suncorp Stadium were impressed with their team's performance but moaned about the "housekeeping" aspects of the Wallabies game. Re-starts so often resulted in an All Black steaming at fullback Harris, line-out throws sometimes went through to the keeper, line-kicks could've yielded more metres.
This sort of stuff can shake teams, but through it all, stand-in captain Nathan Sharpe never wavered and his forwards whacked away. Tatafu Polota-Nau had an enormous game at hooker.
Some cavalry has now arrived in the form of Stephen Moore, David Pocock, Digby Ioane and Berrick Barnes, with more top talent on its way back.
The squad is road hardened by some brutal travel and serious opposition and motivated by Rugby World Cup rankings.
Everything points to four wins on this tour, and better days ahead.