Australia had its "Samoa moment" and France its "Tonga moment" — games each nation was expected to romp-in but did not, to the vocal dismay of supporters at home.
But the French have amassed enough "Tonga moments" to have acquired a reputation for infuriating fluctuations, the Rugby World Cup being the best example.
They stuttered in the pool stage, losing to Tonga in their final game, scraped through the semi-final by the smallest possible margin, then went within a point of the most audacious of upsets against the All Blacks in the final.
It was a characteristic put to the Wallabies' young halfback Nick Phipps in Paris on Tuesday. "Sometimes it doesn't make sense even for us. Does it make sense for you?" one perplexed French journalist asked.
Mais oui, bien sûr, Henri! Of course the Wallabies understand.
"Everyone has their off games, we've had a few — Scotland, Samoa in the last few years," Phipps replied.
"But the best thing about France is that they really lift for the occasion. When they're playing the big teams they really rise to the occasion, so they're going to be quite difficult I think. They had a little mishap against Tonga, but every time they play us they've always given us a big challenge."
The Wallabies lack the emotional-roller-coaster quality of the French at their best and worst, but this group of players knows all too well the battle for consistency.
This tour is the Wallabies' best shot at it yet. Four Tests, played by the closest thing to a settled playing group, off the back of two confidence-boosting Tests against Argentina and New Zealand.
There are particular challenges the northern hemisphere presents a group this young, including cold weather, late games, big European packs and, with the exception of Wales, a high degree of unfamiliarity.
Injury niggles persist, with starting lock Sitaleki Timani looking less and less likely to feature this weekend. Prop Ben Alexander is in the same boat with a wrist injury, as are flanker David Pocock and seasoned winger Digby Ioane. Stephen Moore is the only one of the returning players who may actually make it this week.
But there is no doubt that the Wallabies camped on the fringe of Paris's famous Latin Quarter this week have had a sniff of something resembling a workable — dare anyone say winning? — formula.
They have been tested to their limits of adaptability and resilience over the past few months and the interim results have borne quiet confidence.
"It was funny today, we had a gym session this morning and everyone was sort of bouncing out of their skin," Phipps said of the side's quick recovery from the long-haul travel.
"There's a really good mood around the camp, but we're definitely aware of the big task we have [ahead of] us this weekend against the French."