It feels, at times, as if the genius of Beauden Barrett is hidden in plain sight.
Well that's how it seemed this year, when a supposed tide of opinion apparently rose behind Richie Mo'unga, the people allegedly voting for the young Crusader to take over as the All Black No 10.
In the process, Barrett copped the most ridiculous criticism considering the stupendous heights he had scaled, the enjoyment he had spread in a difficult game to play.
I've not seen a better test back than Beauden Barrett, since the early 1970s. While other players lived in lanes, to Barrett the field is a playground. He is, to my mind, simply the greatest whether he has medals around his neck or not.
Jonah Lomu, Dan Carter, David Campese, Christian Cullen, Tim Horan, Stephen Larkham, Phil "The Sidestep" Bennett, Rupeni Caucaunibuca, Mark Ella, Hugo Porta, Serge Blanco…these are the sort of names which leap to mind when the word association game involves "exceptional".
Carter was a most complete back, with so many skills and - at his best - an internal metronome which helped him pick the game apart. He hardly ever missed a tackle, without putting himself in harm's way. Even his re-starts were a work of art.
But no one has matched the breadth of Barrett's attacking game. In a sport where space is at an absolute premium, where the quarter acre dream died a long time ago, Barrett still roams free.
The only way to define Barrett is not to define him in traditional terms. Carter was a better No 10 in the strict sense, the groundbreaking Larkham too, and it is almost heresy to suggest there has ever been a better fullback than Cullen or maybe Blanco.
But Barrett and his press button pace creates a hybrid role which has left them all behind. His highlights package is off the charts.
He made George Bridge look good on Saturday night, gliding across Wallaby defenders and putting the new starting wing through a gap made for his pace. The rest, and the Wallabies, were history.
It wasn't Barrett's finest test by a long stretch, yet he still made the play which made the difference.
In the first test, Barrett made a try out of nothing by angling in towards a gap and skipping across the line, in the way that only Beauden Barrett can skip.
Yes, he was trampled over by Samu Kerevi in Perth. But there isn't a perfect footballer anywhere.
Cullen was an amazing straight line runner, with incredible strength and balance and a magic radar for running lines. He was, until Barrett, the best outside back I'd seen.
But look at all the other strings to Barrett's bow: goalkicking, general kicking, creative kicking, playmaking, left foot, right foot. It makes the great Cullen look a tad one dimensional.
Barrett is the World Cup ace, a most essential item along with the injured Brodie Retallick.
Even for the non-religious, a prayer for the health of Retallick still feels like a worthwhile exercise as the tournament draws near.
There was, quite rightly, a lot of praise for Patrick Tuipulotu after Bledisloe Two, but the Auckland lock does not have a history which makes you feel secure about him against the big boys from Europe and South Africa. Scott Barrett, for all of his strengths, isn't Mr. Retallick.
But so long as Beauden Barrett remains fit, the All Blacks will go to Japan with an edge that no one can match.
No player has understood the freedom offered to a fullback and had the weapons to use it.
He can turn up on the sideline, cut through the middle, drift across defenders, throw that magic pass, produce that impossible kick and chase.
He is, in short, the primary reason to buy a ticket or turn the TV on, and back the All Blacks to emerge from the World Cup pack.
A PEAK IN THE VALLEYS
All credit to Wales, for assuming the No. 1 position in world rugby.
And while they aren't the best team in the world, there probably isn't a clear number one right now.
But coach Warren Gatland, inspirational lock Alun Wyn Jones and co. deserve major kudos for restoring and raising Welsh rugby pride.
It hasn't always been an easy task as Sir Graham Henry found in his time as their national coach, before he took over the All Black reins.
Wales, a passionate rugby country steeped in traditional rivalries and politics, came to healthy professionalism slowly, and didn't make life easy for the head coach.
Gatland said he expected the Kiwi media to laugh off the Welsh ranking, and it is certainly worth a little giggle coming as it has immediately after the champion All Blacks dismantled their 2015 World Cup final opponents Australia.
But it is the ranking system which is discredited, not the Welsh game. And the Welsh rise does actually portray that a sustained period of All Black dominance is over, even if they may still – marginally – be the best team in the world.
CHEIKA'S CHOKERS SHOULD BE ASHAMED
Okay, so the All Blacks responded brilliantly, after being crushed in Perth.
But Michael Cheika's Wallabies were appalling at Eden Park, a disgrace to the jersey. They should be ashamed.
A reluctance to put their bodies on the line was shocking. The forwards were at major fault, but the way wing Reece Hodge avoided confronting Sevu Reece before he kicked and chased for a try said it all.
There were a few notable exceptions – Samu Kerevi plus replacements Taniela Tupou and Will Genia the obvious ones. In a well beaten side, Kerevi still looked like a potent weapon.
Cheika's Chokers seem like a confusing team to judge. But one long trend is clear – in general, they don't match up well with the All Blacks.
However, the World Cup is a different beast. It could be decided by a red or yellow card, a penalty, an injury. There is no way of atoning for a bad day after the pool stage.
And it will be heavily shaped by who plays who. I still think the All Blacks will have trouble against the game's most powerful packs, and particularly South Africa's.