Rarely does luck have much of a role to play in top level sport. Nearly all of what happens is governed by conscious decision-making and selections and outcomes are determined by deliberate choices and acts.
Sport is not like the roulette wheel. It doesn't find itself helpless against the vagaries of fate and while there are occasions when luck genuinely intervenes, most of what we see is heavily planned and the consequence of endless, considered decisions that are made as part of an overall plan.
Yet, in the week the All Blacks named the 31 players they are taking to Japan, the impression was given that luck was responsible for some players making it in and others missing out.
Supposedly Owen Franks and Ngani Laumape were the two unluckiest players in the country.
But here's the thing – they weren't unlucky. Bad luck didn't do them out of a World Cup place, just as good luck wasn't a factor in anyone making it in.
The All Blacks selectors didn't put the names of the five competing midfielders into a hat, pull out four and then ring Laumape to tell him the bad news that he had been unlucky.
They didn't toss coins to whittle their six props down to five, or do paper, scissors, rock until somehow Franks was ejected from the squad.
It wasn't a random act of fate that led to Franks and Laumape missing out, but a considered, rational decision that there were other players who were better.
Their fate was sealed not by an uncontrollable set of circumstances. Far from it. Their non-selection was in fact the antithesis of unlucky – it was entirely deliberate and made after lengthy consideration.
Unlucky is breaking a leg. Unlucky is falling over at an inopportune moment. Unlucky is the ball bouncing in instead of out or out instead of in.
Luck is what can't be controlled and therefore luck had no part to play in the non-selection of Franks and Laumape.
What kept Franks out was his continued failure to deliver what had been asked for away from the scrum. The coaches had a vision and others proved they were better at fulfilling it.
It was surprising that after 11 years of consistent selection and with 108 test caps, Franks was dropped. It was shocking even because no one was predicting his likely demise.
But it wasn't unlucky. Franks had the opportunity to stake his claim and didn't do it and as one of the game's great professionals who understands that hard work and discipline got him to where he was, he accepted relatively easily that it wasn't luck which took it away.
The detailed, professional, clinical analysis of his game which led to him enjoying a great All Blacks career, also led to him being dropped.
Laumape has no better grounds to be considered unlucky. He was dropped from the All Blacks Rugby Championship squad last year amid concerns his communication was poor.
The All Blacks want their No 12 to be a decision-maker, a set of eyes and ears for the first-five to be guided by.
They want their second-five to be a distributor and while Laumape fulfilled the brief to be direct and confrontational, he didn't provide anything convincing to suggest he's fixed the shortcomings in his game.
This is the All Blacks, competition is fierce and it wasn't bad luck that Ryan Crotty sneaked ahead of him, but instead a clinical assessment that the experience, composure and greater all-round skill-set of the older man would be more valuable at a World Cup.
Laumape is a good player but the other four are better, not by chance, but because they have consciously developed their skills and experience to a higher level.
Not everyone has to agree and many don't but those who believe it was bad luck that caused him to miss out, have to accept that by the same rationale, it would be good luck rather than good judgement had he made it in.
The sentiment that Franks and Laumape are entitled to feel aggrieved is understandable, but the language is wrong: to see their respective omissions as being attributable to bad luck is to devalue the work of others and demean the skill of the selection panel.
Steve Hansen and his selection team have had four years to assess their players, build the wider skill base and evolve a gameplan based on how they see global trends and their own development affecting their options.
Franks and Laumape don't fit into that vision as well as others and it's a fallacy, to imagine that not every player the All Blacks pick is subjected to rigorous analysis of both their ability and personality, which is then meticulously measured against the needs and expectations of the team.
Only fools believe in good luck and bad luck being determining factors in the high performance world.
Hard work, discipline, skill development, personal growth and mental strength are the determining factors that decide who is in and who is out, just as they determine which team wins and which loses.
Which is why it's equally obtuse to use luck as the means to characterise victories or great moments, and on the eve of the World Cup it is a concern that confusion reigns as to what is controllable and what is not in top level sport.
It's worth knowing the difference so as whichever team prevails in Japan can be recognised as a worthy champion rather than being lucky.
Too readily luck is considered to be a prominent factor in test football these days. Too many great victories are sullied with the tag of being lucky and the modern rugby fan has a bad habit of seeing the hand of fate causing human error, rather than the work of the opposition.
Ireland were considered lucky last year that Kieran Read dropped the ball after charging down a kick that would have led to a certain try.
But it was human error forced by the pressure of the occasion and by the way the Irish had played. It wasn't lucky.
Just as it was pressure rather than luck which led to human error which saw England captain Chris Robshaw turning down a shot for goal in the last minute of the 2015 World Cup pool game against Wales.
Wales earned their victory because they played well enough to force England into making endless, poor decisions.
And so it should be stated now that whichever team wins the World Cup, will have done so on merit and there will be no need or justification to tag them as lucky.
There will be knock-out games that remain in the balance until the last minutes and inevitably one side will prevail on account of their ability to conjure something in the dying seconds.
Winning late in the day is not inherently lucky yet it so readily is portrayed that way.
Luck will play a role at this World Cup, but not a major one and it certainly didn't play a part in Laumape or Franks not playing a part.