Austrian football dictator Andreas Heraf should have known better - don't mess with the Kiwi sporting psyche.
Beneath that bland exterior lies a powder keg should things go wrong between players and coaches.
We've actually got a significant history of player uprisings over the past couple of decades.
Here are the good, the bad and the ugly of sports coups in their various guises...and what came next.
1) Andreas Heraf and the Football Ferns - 2018
The most powerful man in New Zealand football was brought down by the Ferns, with headlines predicting a "mass exodus" of players if the coach stayed on, with veteran Abby Erceg the first to quit.
"I couldn't stand to wear that fern on my chest anymore when his vision was to cower in a corner," she raged over his tactics.
Heraf was also technical director for all of New Zealand football, and was planning major changes for the sport.
So this is a highly significant coup. Only time will tell how the Heraf debacle fits into our football history.
2) Gary Kemble and the Kiwis - 2008
Captain Roy Asotasi got the ball rolling, and forward David Kidwell backed him up. Gary Kemble was a good bloke but a hopeless coach, and a mass player walkout - as one story put it - was on the cards.
"We know our heads are on the chopping block. But it's the black and white jersey we're thinking about and trying to win this World Cup," said Kidwell, with no idea how history would come back to haunt him.
Kiwi great Steve Kearney assisted by Aussie legend Wayne Bennett, or was it the other way around, took the Kiwis to 2008 World Cup victory.
3) David Kidwell and the Kiwis - 2017
Wrecking ball lock Jason Taumalolo got the ball rolling, quitting the Kiwis to boost Tonga on the eve of the World Cup.
Kidwell's scant use of the star forward against Australia in Perth the previous year may have been at the root of this player revolt.
When the Kiwis fell apart at the 2017 World Cup, a loss to Tonga included, it was curtains for the struggling coach.
But the Denver test against England this year suggested Kidwell's departure was hardly a panacea.
4) Jed Rowlands and the Blues - 1999
Taranaki's Jed Rowlands was a babe in the woods compared to the Blues players he was assigned to coach.
They toppled the novice with matters reaching a head during a trip to South Africa and it could be argued this was the beginning of the end...for the misguided Blues.
Rowlands went on to guide the Black Ferns to a World Cup victory, while the Blues are usually a disaster.
5) Andy Moles and the Black Caps - 2009
A group of senior players, a term to strike fear in a coach's heart, wanted the Englishman out amid claims captain Daniel Vettori had actually been coaching the team.
Moles was a surprise appointment in the first place, and quit less than a year into the job. The Black Caps have hardly looked back since.
6) Janine Southby and the Silver Ferns - 2018
Katrina Grant claimed she was lost for words after the Commonwealth Games shambles, but maybe not.
"We haven't had the right direction over the last few months," the Ferns netball captain reckoned.
Southby's fate — which didn't look all that good anyway — was effectively sealed by that public condemnation.
Her attempt at a player-led netball coaching style had been voted out by players because, to some degree, they weren't strong enough to lead the revolution. What a tangled web of irony.
Finding a new coach though is proving a struggle.
7) Sean Horan and the Black Ferns - 2016
Sevens boss Horan had a major vision for women's rugby but some of his players couldn't see past his management techniques, star Portia Woodman later revealing a split camp.
In hindsight, his position was untenable. Horan quit after the Rio Olympics silver medal achievement/disappointment.
The Black Ferns finally hit brilliant form in the world series this year and then cleaned up in the World Cup under Horan's popular assistant Allan Bunting.
8) Ricki Herbert/NZF and the All Whites - 2010
Former All Whites boss Herbert has slammed stories claiming senior players ran the side which drew three World Cup group games in South Africa, an achievement beyond all predictions.
Let's put it this way: iron-willed captain Ryan Nelsen would have insisted on major input and he wasn't the only hard-headed veteran in that team.
Player power also reached off the field - midfielder Tim Brown inspired the 'One Shot for Glory' promotion campaign before the qualifying victory against Bahrain, and helped set up training camps for idle All Whites.
It's been mainly downhill for football since although Brown is going great guns, as a shoe manufacturer.
9) Brian McClennan and the Warriors - 2012
There's little doubt "Bluey" McClennan lost some of the dressing room. Aussie James Maloney and Kiwi Lewis Brown couldn't get out of the place quick enough, once Ivan Cleary left.
The rookie NRL league coach was sent packing before his first season was up but McClennan supporters could point out that subsequent coaches haven't performed any better.