This time last month, Ronan O'Gara and Jonny Wilkinson had been demoted to the supporting cast, each consigned to his respective bench and the likelihood of a bit-part role.
Last weekend they resumed their normal business of winning close Test matches, as if neither had been away.
Only Wilkinson could step into the ferocity of England's duel against France at Twickenham early in the second half and find out that his first touch of the ball was to line up a long-distance penalty which he duly guided home.
It pushed a tight match beyond French retrieval and, appropriately enough, the goal flew into history, reuniting Wilkinson and the world points record which Dan Carter had taken from him in Cardiff four months earlier - 1,121 to 1,120.
A worthy home win confirmed the reality that England are the team to beat, that the title is surely theirs for the taking and about time, too, after eight years in something of a Six Nations wilderness.
Fly-halves have come and gone in recent weeks at such a rate that it could be easy to lose track of the ins and outs - Stephen Jones or James Hook, Dan Parks or Ruaridh Jackson, Luciano Orquera or Kris Burton, Toby Flood or Wilkinson, Jonny Sexton or O'Gara.
If this Championship was supposed to have marked his phasing out into a largely unused second fiddle, then clearly nobody told 'Rog.'
He was back calling the tune against Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday, in the process providing a classic example of the old adage that you can't keep a good man down.
O'Gara did what O'Gara does best, giving Ireland a sense of direction. Long before the end, the Mark Twain of international tens had ridiculed reports of his Test match obituary.
As he said: 'It's not what you've done. It's what you have to do. I'm far from finished.'
England will be wary about that, likewise Wales - next up for Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday week.
O'Gara will have turned 34 by then and where better to kick the one goal to join Wilkinson, Carter and Diego Dominguez with a four-figure points tally than in the stadium where he helped his province win their first European Cup final and his country their first Slam for more than 60 years.
Ireland will think twice about taking him off as early as they did in Edinburgh, 12 minutes from time. Recurring Irish indiscipline pushed them perilously close to allowing their three tries to be cancelled by seven Scottish goals.
Only one team has conceded more penalties over the three rounds, Wales. They fell foul of another referee, in this case Wayne Barnes, often enough to head the penalty-against table -- 37 to Ireland's 36 with England on 34, Scotland and Italy 25 each, France 24.
Wales, concerned at an escalating number of offences, ten against England in Cardiff, 12 against Scotland in Edinburgh and 15 against Italy in Rome, got away with it because of Italy's damaging lack of a reliable place-kicker.
Mirco Bergamasco and Orquera, the substitute fly-half, missed three shots at goal during a second half when the Azzurri had Wales under the cosh.
Successive away wins on the road and a debut international try for their star 22-year-old openside, Sam Warburton, will send them back to the Millennium Stadium in better mood than when they left it after the Friday night downer against England.
Talk from within the Welsh camp about their challenging for the title sounds like wishful thinking. They will have to raise their game to a level they have not reached hitherto if they are to beat Ireland and stay in second place.
My RBS Six Nations team of the weekend:
15 - B Foden (England)
14 - M Stoddart (Wales)
13 - M Tindall (England)
12 - J Roberts (Wales)
11 - S Williams (Wales)
10 - R O'Gara (Ireland)
9 - F Semenzato (Italy)
1 - C Healy (Ireland)
2 - D Hartley (England)
3 - D Cole (England)
4 - P O'Connell (Ireland)
5 - T Palmer (England)
6 - S O'Brien (Ireland)
7 - T Wood (England)
8 - S Parisse (Italy)
16 - L Ghiraldini (Italy)
17 - N Mas (France)
18 - L Deacon (England)
19 - I Harinordoquy (France)
20 - M Phillips (Wales
21 - J Wilkinson (England)
22 - M Cueto (England)