For about 40 minutes last weekend, it looked like the All Blacks were potentially vulnerable to be knocked off their perch at the top of the Southern Hemisphere hierarchy.
Then in the blink of an eye they reminded everyone why they are head and shoulders above everyone else in world rugby with a clinical second half.
Australia now faces the unenviable task of a trip to New Zealand, down 1-0 in the Bledisloe Cup and desperate for a win.
South Africa got their campaign off to a good start at home, with an impressive second half display to pick up a bonus point win of their own against Argentina.
Read on for our preview of the return legs and best bets from both matches in The Rugby Championship.
Saturday 25 August, 5:30pm, Eden Park
As is almost always the case heading into the second game of the Bledisloe Cup, Wallabies supporters are left to rely on the Lloyd Christmas quote from Dumb & Dumber, “so you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
To keep the series alive, they need to pull off a huge upset at Eden Park, a venue no Wallabies side has won at in 32 years.
As it stands the Wallabies losing streak at the ground sits at 17 matches and the last six really have not been close; with the All Blacks winning by double digits every time average margin in those games being 23 points.
With star fullback Israel Folau missing due to an injury picked up in last week’s test it is hard to see the Wallabies able to match New Zealand try for try here and while the first half may be close, expect New Zealand to do what they always do and run away with it after the break.
Back New Zealand to Cover the Line (-22.5)
Sunday 26 August, 5:10am, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas
About 10 hours after the first match of the Rugby Championship is over (and the All Blacks are likely still celebrating retaining the Bledisloe Cup again) the other contest kicks off in Mendoza, Argentina.
South Africa took out the honours in round one but despite their underdog status, Argentina will be confident about their chances of an upset.
The last two meetings between these sides at this venue have been very tight affairs with a draw and five point win for the Springboks.
Turnovers crushed Argentina in their match last weekend as they held the lead at halftime before five Springboks tries after the break got them home.
These sides are closer than the scoreline from last week might indicate and if Argentina can hold their discipline for 80 minutes they are a great chance of pulling off an upset.
Back Argentina to Win @ $2.85