European tournament rugby took its 2013 leave as of this weekend, with more Heineken Cup fixtures not on the schedule until January.
So, the continental powers at work rightly threw up a wealth of clutch matchups with the six pools undergoing great change—and there are just two games left to play.
Read on for a roundup of some of the lessons learned in this weekend's European curtain call, from shock results to predictable outcomes.
Again, Cardiff Blues managed to overcome their Glaswegian counterparts this Friday, and again, it was the feet of Rhys Patchell and Leigh Halfpenny providing the main stack of points.
The 9-7 Blues victory was another standout show for the Blues utility, this time playing at inside centre, showing the malleability Patchell has in adapting to his surroundings.
Along with Rhys Priestland and Dan Biggar, Patchell will continue for Warren Gatland's No. 10 jersey, but it's the Blues-based playmaker who should be getting the nod.
Unlike his two fellow contenders, Patchell's rising trajectory is yet to reach any obstacles, Priestland and Biggar each showing flaws on the international stage in the past.
In 2014, the 20-year-old will only gain experience and cement his place as his nation's best option at fly-half.
It wasn't to be for Connacht, who finally succumbed to Toulouse back at the Sportsground by a score of 37-9.
Toulouse's loss last weekend to the same opposition put some doubt on the Top 14 side's Pool 3 standing, but the French outfit remain on top, level on points with Saracens.
This weekend's return fixture was a strong statement of Toulouse being all too aware of their lapse in judgement, learning from their mistakes and gaining valuable experience because of it.
Already one of Europe's strongest sides, Guy Noves' men will have also been rebuffed psychologically due to the defeat, other clubs with more comfortable group trips not being as "lucky."
Currently outside the top four in a surprisingly submissive position, Leicester Tigers' European run remains the more promising part of their 2013/14 campaign, a sign they must play to their strengths.
It's around this time of the season that decisions must be made regarding how many resources are being devoted where; teams must weigh their priorities given the competitions coming up.
With two Pool 5 fixtures left against Treviso and Ulster, the Irish province can be extremely hopeful of advancing to the next round and should be putting their Heineken Cup trials at the top of their list.
The Heineken Cup has born good fruit for Munster over the last decade, a fire fuelled largely by the iconic players of that era, ranging from Jim Williams to Ronan O'Gara to Dougie Howlett.
However, there was some concern that the inherent mentality toward victory may not be as rife among the next generation at Munster.
An 18-17 last-gasp victory over Perpignan shows every bit of commitment that their Thomond Park predecessors have become so famous for. Munster cemented their place atop Pool 6 and are ready to assume European dominance.
Prior to this weekend's meeting at the Aviva Stadium, Northampton Saints had come up empty-handed in their previous four matches against Leinster.
However, the record was beaten in Dublin when Jim Mallinder's men ran out as deserving 18-9 victors, restricting the home team from scoring even one try.
Players such as Dylan Hartley, Samu Manoa and Courtney Lawes stepped up to the occasion in big fashion. It was a fine outing for the English giants, crowned by Jamie Elliott's last-minute breakaway try.
Leinster's attack and defence were tested severely, and they were bested in all areas as Northampton beat their emerging rivals for the first time.
Sticking with the Aviva result, Leinster's failure to pick up a bonus losing point—or even a victory—was largely down to some of their own profligacy in attack.
Even in the last minute, it was a Jamie Heaslip lapse in attention that opened the game up. Elliott pounced on the mistake, adding salt to the wound of the hosts, in front of increased numbers.
On several occasions, patience was the key skill needed to make the necessary ground in tight conditions, and although Matt O'Connor's team showed plenty, it wasn't sufficient to overcome Saints.
Having said that, Leinster aren't the kind of outfit not to learn from their mistakes, and they will be sure to not show the same weaknesses in the coming rounds.