It's a couple of hours before the World Cup final at Eden Park seven years ago.
A large room is full with media gathered from around the world.
In walks a celebrated French player of (recent) yesteryear, but by then working for French broadcasters. Up leaps a fellow countryman, delighted to see his old friend.
He steps forward, clutches the legend by the arms and plants kisses on both cheeks.
A New Zealand colleague is watching from a few metres away. There's a slight curling of the lip at this overt, expressive greeting, following by a discreet gesture suggesting he thought the Frenchmen were a bit out of order in good old New Zealand — at least in the tracts of rugby-land where a firm handshake and a ''Jack. Bob'' exchange is sufficient greeting.
The French philosophy can differ just a bit, and in a rugby perspective, amen to that.
Which is part of the reason their visits here are invariably greeted with a mix of curiosity but also a touch of, if not apprehension in these All Black-dominant years of international rugby, at least respect.
Too often they have come to play when something less had been anticipated. Consider that France have arrived with a below-full strength squad, the final of the domestic competition last weekend having seen to that.So they're no chance at Eden Park in the first of the three tests this Saturday? You are entering dangerous territory if you think that.
There's a feeling the French, under their new coach Jacques Brunel, are getting their act together after a muddled, dispiriting few years. The spirit is rising and no one does it better if their collective soul in tune.
They have classy players, such as centre Wesley Fofana, wing Teddy Thomas and halfback Morgan Parra, and there's invariably at least a hard nut or three in any French pack.
The All Blacks have issues of their own, midfield men Sonny Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty's injury mishaps in the leadup, key lock Brodie Retallick's pectoral injury counting him out, and captain Sam Whitelock and flanker Sam Cane's late return to action, plus their two senior props sidelined by suspension headlining that.
The day after that 2011 final, a photographer was sent out to trawl the streets around the French hotel in central Auckland, the idea being to spot French players misbehaving.
Those who made that decision were operating on the basis that the French were sure to be playing up, naturally.
The photographer found some French players, clearly not having made it to their beds about breakfast time and, shock, horror, they were standing on the street smoking. They weren't smashing windows, urinating on footpaths or eating children. Still, snap snap.
They do things differently, although as has been seen in the last few days, All Blacks aren't averse to an occasional breakfast time finish to the night before.
Different strokes, and all that. But it doesn't mean they can't give the All Blacks a bump or two in the next three weeks. And probably when it's least expected.