The international year is finally at an end, and it has been one for the ages.
With New Zealand claiming the first perfect 12 months since the game went professional, there are no prizes for guessing who finishes 2013 top of the pile.
Let's see how everyone else stacks up below the All Blacks as we pass the half-way point on the road to the 2015 World Cup.
Italy had a strong Six Nations in 2013 by their own standards, but failed to make any real breakthrough in their autumn series.
Heavy defeat to Australia was a sobering reminder of their standing in the world pecking order.
A battling win over Fiji was overshadowed by defeat to an underpowered Argentina.
Italy will do well to match last year’s Six Nations performance when they defeated both France and Ireland. But if they can rekindle their ability to drag teams into the trenches, they can prosper there.
As the Pumas players scatter themselves back to their clubs across Europe and beyond, new coach Daniel Hourcade will be keeping a close watch.
He will certainly rack up a few air miles over the coming months as he scours the leagues monitoring form and fitness and looking for the odd diamond in the rough.
If he can forge a new generation of talent to go with those from the old guard still blazing away, things could look better for Argentina as they build towards 2015.
Scotland have some talented, physical forwards who would merit a place in any of the best European squads. Jim Hamilton is a second row who has a huge impact on games.
Dave Denton is a No. 8 with tremendous ball carrying ability, and Moray Low is a wonderful scrummager. How many of their backs can draw such praise?
And that’s the problem.
Creating try-scoring chances does not come easily to this side, and their execution of basic skills can also sometimes let them down.
Their pack deserves better.
France won’t have to improve much for 2014 to be better than in 2013.
Coming bottom of the Six Nations, getting drubbed 3-0 in New Zealand and emerging from the autumn with just a win over Tonga in the bag, some more trigger-happy unions would have their coach in the crosshairs.
But Philippe Saint-Andre will have the next year to blend his deeply-talented squad into a cohesive, winning unit.
Whether that unit can function with any consistency is a question posed all too often about Les Bleus.
The passion, intensity, accuracy and speed displayed in Ireland’s loss to New Zealand was magnificent.
It was on a par, if not above the quality Wales exhibited in their demolition of England in March.
Now, Joe Schmidt must ensure his players replicate it come February.
If they can manage that, the potential of this side is huge.
Wales were brilliant for parts of their clash with Australia, but the ledger tells a familiar, frustrating tale.
Why, in Lions red, can their players slice Australia part and deny them a look-in at the other end, then when the badge on their chest sprouts feathers, do they get scored upon so easily?
From a winning position, Wales tossed away their latest chance to claim a big southern hemisphere scalp.
It’s a problem they need to remedy if they are to be World Cup contenders, and it won't be masked by another wonderful Six Nations, however much that would please their passionate supporters.
Stuart Lancaster has several challenges to overcome in selection.
Then, if he can get the right men on the park, he needs his side to play for 80 minutes.
In the autumn. England played in bursts, and that is never going to be enough against the top sides.
With France up first in Paris in the Six Nations, England have no time to find their form if a Grand Slam is to become reality.
The Wallabies turned their tour around after a poor start at Twickenham, going on to complete four wins from their five games and looking better as the weeks went by.
In Quade Cooper, they have a genuine world class playmaker who showed all his wares against Wales.
If he can find the consistency he has lacked in recent years, Australia will be a force to be reckoned with come 2015. But they must improve their scrum.
In Cardiff, they managed to escape packing down at all for 50 minutes, but that won't happen very often.
The Springboks end the year as the second best side in the world.
Until New Zealand faced Ireland (and England for a short while), South Africa were the only side to have come close to upsetting the world champions.
With another year together, they could go one better and topple the All Blacks in 2014.
With players like Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux and Patrick Lambie promising to be genuine world class stars for years to come, the Boks will be simmering nicely come 2015.
Their place is secure on top of the world after a perfect 2013.
If we needed any further evidence of the difference between the All Blacks and the rest, the Wales versus Australia game provided it.
When Wales has the ball and were searching for the winning score at the death, you never felt as though they’d get it. And by way of confirmation, they kicked the thing out of play to end their chances.
Rewind to Dublin six days earlier. New Zealand were behind deep into injury time when they got their mitts on the ball one, last time.
They kept it, ran it, passed it, and scored.
And no one was surprised.