When it comes to the All Blacks, don't look at the number of caps as a means of determining their level of experience.
Experience has value, but it's not necessarily gained by playing a lot of games. Numbers are misleading. They tell us virtually nothing or in many cases lead us to believe that a player is equipped to deal with a situation when they have in fact gained nothing useful in all of their previous experience for that to be true.
The number of test matches played does not equal valuable experience.
This much is becoming clearer in the wake of the All Blacks stunning demolition of Ireland. The Irish had a number of warriors, some with more than 100 caps and others close to that landmark.
But what did it deliver? An error-ridden performance that was nervy and disjointed. Ireland weren't equipped to deal with the pressure and occasion and experience, as defined by number of tests played, brought them nothing.
Well, actually it did, it brought them a ticket home and another four years of stewing about once again failing to make the semifinal of a World Cup.
The All Blacks, conversely, handed the keys of their attack game to a host of Generation Y and Generation Z newcomers, who could muster barely 100 caps between them.
And yet it was the All Blacks who delivered. They had belief and confidence. They had energy and certainty in everything they did and the notion that a lack of test caps would somehow hurt the likes of Sevu Reece, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga and Jack Goodhue was blown out the water.
And that's because experience is not defined by quantity per se. It is defined by quality. Good experience brings value. Experience in itself doesn't.
Having played 100 tests is not an indicator of anything other that someone has played a lot of tests.
Take Italian captain Sergio Parisse for example, who has played 142 times for his country and yet it is entirely valid to ask what has he learned along the way?
What has that experience done to shape him and would he be better equipped to deal with the mental pressure of a World Cup quarter-final than any of the All Blacks' Generation Y and Z brigade who have amassed collectively a fraction of his caps.
The answer is no, because the likes of Mo'unga, Bridge, Reece and Goodhue have gained high value experience in their short professional careers.
All of them have won Super Rugby titles with the Crusaders. All of them know what it takes to prepare and win knock out games and all of them know how to back up one big performance with another.
They have also been thrown into big tests and come out the other end in one piece, wiser and more confident for the experience.
Bridge and Reece were asked to play against the Wallabies in August and deliver something sharp and memorable when the whole credibility of the All Blacks and the Bledisloe Cup were on the line.
The pressure was huge and they nailed it. They didn't freeze or worry. They didn't hide or fret and in one test they achieved more, delivered more than many players have in 100.
And this is the point All Blacks coach Steve Hansen made after the destruction of Ireland. There are some in his team who, on the numerical scale, meet the definition of being inexperienced.
But on the high value, qualitative scale, they are quite rich. Almost seasoned and by the fact they have had positive outcomes in difficult situations, they are ahead of others who have played significantly more tests than they have.
So while the rest of the world has maybe looked at the All Blacks' selections in recent months and gasped at the bravery or perhaps stupidity of leaving veterans such as Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty out of the team, the view within has been entirely different.
Hansen and his fellow selectors don't perceive the risks to be anywhere near as high as everyone else does and they keep being repaid for that assessment.
They have earned rewards for being more analytic and challenging of the word experience and deducing that the likes of Bridge, Mo'unga and Goodhue in particular have become strong and emboldened characters because they have been shaped by the success of the Crusaders.
Reece, too, has known only positives this year and he's playing like it. He has no fear about trying anything on the field because so far, everything he has done in big games, has worked out just fine.
The victory against Ireland has only strengthened the conviction that positive experience will prove more valuable than experience.
Victory has deepened the confidence of this All Blacks team – given them another invaluable 80 minutes that they can use against England.
Compare that with Ireland whose team endured another 80 minutes of what? Another 80 minutes of failing to come up with the right answers and the right time and for some it was their third quarter-final loss and hence while their experience of such occasions is high, what is the actual value?