There hasn't been a classier act than Sam Whitelock in the last month.
He's been quite brilliant the last two times he's played at Eden Park, first destroying the Blues almost on his own with his adept reading and systematic dismantling of their lineout and then producing a commanding, bruising 80 minutes against Ireland to remind the world that there is nothing soft or cuddly about the All Blacks pack.
If there were creeping doubts about his ageing legs and ability to give the All Blacks what they need, they were dismissed as emphatically as Whitelock was cleaning out Irish defenders at the breakdown.
But what has set Whitelock apart is not just what he has done, but the way he has done it.
Here's a man with every reason in the world to toot his own horn and yet self-promotion is anathema to him.
There is nothing showy or brash about Whitelock – nothing cheap, contrived or unbecoming.
He saw the Blues lineout fall apart right in front of him, but he didn't feel the need to lord it over them: to gloat at their implosion.
Against Ireland, his focus never wavered. He hit bodies hard, got up and hit the next thing and that's the old-world charm of Whitelock – he doesn't linger for a bit hoping to be entangled in some off the ball nonsense.
He doesn't moan to the referee or gesticulate to the opposition and he doesn't tug shirts at the breakdown or pout and flounce on the fringes making a show of being involved rather than actually being involved.
Instead, he's unflappably calm, dignified and respectful not just to his opposition, but to the game itself as if he is one of the last men standing who understands the code of honour and ethics that once presided.
It's entirely in keeping with his character and the respect which he has for the All Blacks that he was prepared to self-report his concussion symptoms – an act which he knew would rule him out for the remainder of the series, but one that would also set a powerful and much needed example of responsible head knock management.
The All Blacks will obviously miss Whitelock in Dunedin because his aerial presence and scrummaging power will be hard to replace.
But the global game will also miss him because he is rugby's North Star and rarely has there been a time when the foundation values of the sport have seemed so fragile and ignored.
Whitelock may be the last and only surviving link to a forgotten age when rugby could safely occupy the moral high ground as a sport whose participants genuinely believed that how they conducted themselves on the field was as important as the result.
But those values have eroded, and rugby now appears to embrace and even endorse behaviours that it once would have been utterly ashamed by.
In Perth last weekend, England lock Maro Itoje stooped so low as to consistently yell to stop the Wallabies from hearing their own lineout code.
It was a crass act that was as pointless as it was stupid and the only reason he came off the field the third biggest moron, was that his teammate Johnny Hill stooped even lower to determinedly pull the hair of Wallaby lock Darcy Swain.
The Australians were rightly incensed at what happened, but they have to also realise that Whitelock has been consistently and similarly provoked throughout his career and has never reacted by head-butting the perpetrator as Swain did.
Then there was the sight of stand-in captain Peter O'Mahoney shadowing referee Karl Dickson at Eden Park. If there was a decision to be made, O'Mahoney would be there, leaning into the smaller referee, his body language aggressive rather than persuasive, seemingly hoping that persistence alone would win him some kind of respect and ultimately the outcome he wanted.
Rugby doesn't need captains to become the referee's shadow: that sort of stuff can be left to football.
And in Hamilton, where the Māori played Ireland earlier in the week, there was plenty of evidence of the bad habit that has crept into New Zealand's way of rugby life.
Every dropped ball or error an Irish player made, someone in black would be patting his head, ruffling his air and mocking him. We saw it throughout Super Rugby too – this culture of goading opponents when they get something wrong and while they all whoop and holler and delight in the misfortune of others, it would be interesting to know how players who indulge in this would feel if they saw their own children doing it.
The game needs more men like Whitelock: unflustered sorts who know that winning without honour isn't winning at all.