Anyone expecting a New Zealand-favoured Super Rugby walkover can think again, Blues forwards coach Tom Coventry says.
One round into the new competition, New Zealand sides are 5-0 in their matches against their Australian opponents, leading to fears that the trans-Tasman competition would prove to be a doddle for Kiwi teams.
But while on paper it was a landslide set of wins for Aotearoa, the reality of the first-round matches make for much different reading.
New Zealand's champions, the Crusaders, came within one kick of being held to a shock draw against Australian runners up the Brumbies, winning 31-29 in Christchurch.
Elsewhere the Chiefs held out for a 20-19 victory in similar fashion, after Western Force's Domingo Miotti missed a kick after the siren.
But the Hurricanes ran in 10 tries to defeat the Waratahs 64-48, while the Highlanders scored six times to beat the Super Rugby AU champion Reds 40-19.
The Blues had the biggest victory margin of the round, defeating the Rebels 50-3 in Melbourne - running in five second-half tries in doing so.
That win sees the Blues sit as competition leaders after round one on points differential, followed closely by the other four New Zealand sides.
But even with cellar-dwellers the Waratahs on the horizon for round two, Coventry insists the Australian teams aren't just there to make up the numbers, and that they will bounce back from round one.
"I think it'll take a little while for the Australians," Coventry says.
"Everyone will be commenting around the fact that the Kiwi teams were on top for this round, but there was a couple of close scores - and that's good.
"Some of the teams that probably weren't up to speed in the first round will get better for it. I think that will happen as you come to terms with the competition and the strengths and weaknesses of each other.
"I expect that they'll grow and come to terms with how tough this competition is."
"If you look at the Brumbies and Force it came down to a couple of goal kicks at the end that could have drawn the match in Christchurch and won the game in Perth. Those two teams were highly competitive.
"What happens with competitions is teams usually grow into it, anyone who takes for granted it's going to be a walk-through with these Aussie teams, they're highly mistaken.
"I don't think the competition is as divided as some perceive it to be."
Round two will see the Hurricanes host the Rebels and Chiefs play the Brumbies in Waikato, while the Highlanders and Crusaders are away to the Force and Reds respectively.
Join Newshub for live updates of the Hurricanes v Rebels clash from 7:05pm Friday.