By the end of the Super Rugby final, the respective coaching teams of Ireland and the All Blacks would have formed distinctly different thoughts about precisely the same player.
For the Irish, the final would have served as confirmation of what they already know: which is that Beauden Barrett's influence can be negated, almost nullified in fact, by denying him time, space and opportunity.
The Crusaders used the final to cast themselves in the role of a Northern Hemisphere heavyweight and by dominating the lineout, the scrum, the breakdown and by getting their defensive line up and out quickly, they rendered Barrett and his deadly Blues backline shapeless and largely ineffective.
The final, of course, was hardly the first time Barrett has been squeezed to the margins in a big game – left to flap about in no-man's land, uncertain and unable to unleash his incredible bag of tricks.
What was confirmation for the Irish to some degree was confirmation for the All Blacks coaching group, too.
They know this storyline all too well: the fallibility of New Zealand's vaunted attack game has been recognised around the world in the last five years.
There's been a few too many big tests in recent times where the All Blacks have been unable to pose any persistent threat with the ball. Their attack has been stifled, snuffed out on the gainline and there has been no ability to adapt and offer up a more effective alternative.
And this ultimately is what 2022 boils down to for Ian Foster and his coaching team – fixing this one problem.
They have to find a way for Beauden Barrett to be Beauden Barrett and the final was an acute reminder of how desperately a solution to this problem needs to be found.
Barrett is a once in a generation footballer who has the capacity to destroy any defensive plan ever imagined. In 2016, when he was given his first extended run in the All Blacks No 10 shirt, he re-wrote what was possible.
No matter what defensive shape opposition teams used, Barrett tore through them, and the All Blacks averaged 43 points in the Rugby Championship that year.
It didn't matter who the All Blacks played that year, they found a way to attack and to score tries. They weren't fallible or vulnerable because they could always find a way to play through or round defensive linespeed and could stay in the fight even if the forwards weren't able to stay on top of their tasks.
And this is really the curious thing about Barrett and by extension the All Blacks: they can be so brilliant and yet, as has been evidenced, they can also so easily be shut down.
The likes of Johnny Sexton, Dan Biggar and Finn Russell don't offer the same range of trickery as Barrett and can't compete with him when he's at his best, but they also aren't able to be so easily shut out either.
The final, through the brilliance of the Crusaders and the difficulties suffered by the Blues, provided three clues about what the All Blacks will need to do, to be able to ensure Barrett can be the attacking force he needs to be against Ireland.
The first is that the All Blacks need to start the series with Barrett at No 10. Richie Mo'unga had far the greater influence in the final and played with a vision and composure that was instrumental in delivering such a comprehensive victory.
But Mo'unga has yet to show he can take his Super Rugby form into the test arena and has looked to be just as uncomfortable and uncertain as Barrett when he's been faced with a rush defence and no time to think.
The make-up of the tight five will be front of mind for the All Blacks having seen how the Blues scrum was shunted backwards after Karl Tu'inukuafe and Ofa Tuungafasi – both in the national squad – came on.
That's perhaps a red herring though as its probable that if the Blues front-row had locks Sam Whitelock and Scott Barrett behind them, they would have dominated the scrum in the same way the Crusaders did.
The challenge will be selecting the right combinations to ensure the All Blacks have set-piece security both at the start and when they utilise their bench.
And the third factor that the All Blacks will need if they are to enable Barrett to shine, is to pick David Havili at second-five.
After a quiet start to the year, Havili's ability to offer a strong playmaking hand in the final where he kicked cleverly, tackled hard and guided Mo'unga through the game, was invaluable.
Barrett needs a playmaker at 12: a tactical kicker and strong communicator to lessen the decision-making burden, but to also buy him that little bit of additional time and space.