Former Blues coach Sir John Kirwan is confident his former side will recover from the hurt of Super Rugby Pacific final defeat and build a team to challenge the Crusaders over the coming years.
After last year's Super Rugby Trans-Tasman victory ended an 18-year trophy drought, the Blues nearly doubled up this year, winning 15 straight matches to reach the inaugural final of the expanded Pacific format.
Ultimately, the streak amounted to nothing, as the Crusaders pulled off an Eden Park heist to rob the Blues of another crown and seal a sixth title in as many years for themselves.
But while the Aucklanders will now have to bounce back from the disappointment, Sir John is sure everything is in place to ensure they continue to lead the way as one of the competition frontrunners.
What's more, the former All Blacks winger expects both the Blues and Crusaders to battle it out for titles in the immediate future.
"I've been around the Blues a long, long time," Sir John said on Sky Sport's Breakdown. "I seriously think the Blues as a franchise have got their s*** together - excuse the language.
"From the top right through, the planning they're doing, the high performance, the management, the CEO, the board… I think that this is the beginning.
"That's why I'm not that worried. I think that it'll be great learnings (sic)... Dalton Papalii, those types of players, Patty's [Patrick Tuipulotu] got a few years.
"I think we're going to see the next 5-6 years of the Blues and Crusaders going at it."
Saturday's win represented the Crusaders' 13th Super Rugby triumph, including two Super Rugby Aotearoa titles.
Meanwhile, the Blues have won four titles - three in Super Rugby, along with last year's Trans-Tasman triumph.