LOOKING around the Allianz Stadium pitch, the problem with Australian rugby was staring us right in the face, lurking near the right touchline.
His name, Rieko Ioane.
He is just 20 years old, yet he monstered the seasoned Waratahs veterans in front of him.
Ioane is playing his first full season of Super Rugby, having graduated from the New Zealand sevens system.
ANOTHER DEFEAT: Blues brothers brong dowm bumbling Tahs
He scored two spectacular tries, ran for 170 metres and made 12 tackle busts.
And the problem with Australian rugby is this; where is our Rieko Ioane?
There is none. Not one player coming through the Super ranks this year in Australian teams threatens defensive lines and shows the potential Ioane does.
And this has been happening for years.
Australia couldn’t find a Nehe Milner-Skudder or Ardie Savea in recent years either.
So while the Waratahs made it a respectable loss of 40-33 to the Blues after a second-half fightback, the defeat was inevitable when they trailed 26-0 at half-time.
The Blues blitzed the Tahs with the help of Ioane’s brilliance.
New Zealand teams are now 17-0 against Australian sides in 2017. The gap has never been wider, and shows no signs of closing this year or next.
On a miserable Saturday, South Africa’s Lions steamrolled the Melbourne Rebels 47-10.
Then the Chiefs hammered Queensland Reds 46-17 in New Plymouth, before NSW put out 40 minutes of rubbish in front of their exasperated supporters.
At the same time, the Australia under-20s side was taking on their Kiwi counterparts on the Gold Coast.
New Zealand strolled home 43-6.
There were a few youngsters on show who could be the next Ioane – none of them wearing gold jerseys.
Originally published as Kiwi gun shows just how low Australia has sunk