Across the professional landscape there are little known but much admired New Zealanders, revered by their coaches and peers for their innate rugby intelligence.
Almost every club in Europe, from Edinburgh to Perpignan, to Connacht to Rome and behind the old Iron Curtain, there are Kiwis advancing the reputation of New Zealand as the greatest producer of naturally intelligent rugby players.
That's why New Zealanders are in such high demand in Japan, in Australia, the USA – anywhere that has a rugby footprint.
All buyers of talent believe that New Zealanders come with ingrained, astute decision-making as part of the package.
Former Ireland first-five Ronan O'Gara enhanced New Zealand's reputation as the smartest rugby nation on the planet this weekend when he attributed his own phenomenal growth as a coach to the two-year stint he spent with the Crusaders.
O'Gara, has turned French club La Rochelle into a genuine force, and he says at the heart of the transformation has been a relatively simple change of philosophy – one he came to understand in Christchurch.
In Europe, the emphasis is heavily put on winning collisions and then recycling the ball quickly.
In New Zealand, the collision is the last resort: gameplans are built on looking for space and taking risks to keep the ball alive and that need to be looking to pass, to support, to be on hand to keep the team going forward is the building block of all rugby intelligence in this country.
But the peculiar thing is that while New Zealand's aura grows around the world, Super Rugby Aotearoa has not presented itself as the epicentre of enlightened thinking and advanced practice.
There have been a surprisingly high number of occasions this year when the rugby on show has not displayed the innate intelligence for which New Zealanders are famous.
Last weekend produced a worryingly high, avoidable penalty count, with the Chiefs and Highlanders in particular showing almost zero ability to adapt to a relatively simple demand to not advance if they were in front of the kicker.
Having rugby intelligence means being able to identify a problem behaviour and then change it. Resourcefulness is something New Zealand players apparently have in spades and yet in Dunedin, it seemed almost impossible for any forward on the field to understand that referees are going to apply the law as it pertains to being offside from a kick.
For years players in front of the kicker, but obviously not interfering with play, have meandered up-field and it has been treated as a non-offence.
But this seemingly innocent business allows the kicking team to illegally close space and reduce the options for the kick returner and hence referees have been asked to stamp it out.
Players might feel it's an act of pedantry, a needless clampdown on something that's hardly core, but being rugby smart is to understand and accept who is in charge and bend to the officials' wishes rather than try to break them into seeing things differently.
It was almost as if the players entered a battle of wills with Ben O'Keeffe in Dunedin, convinced that he'd tire of penalising the same offence.
And that desire to wage an unwinnable war hints at the possibility that the general rugby IQ of the typical Super Rugby player is inflated. This idea that New Zealand is rugby smart in a way no other country is, might perhaps not be as true as it once was.
Or at least, if this country is indeed as rich with clever and resourceful players as everyone says it is, we aren't necessarily seeing that every weekend the way we possibly once were.
There are still little things that hint at the underlying savviness inherent in Super Rugby Aotearoa. Players here have brilliant spatial awareness in that they rarely die with the ball over the touchline.
There is also an unparalleled ability to transition from defence to attack and vice versa – at a speed that is light years ahead of any team in the Six Nations.
But somewhat concerningly, Super Rugby Aotearoa is being held hostage not just by this inability to adjust to the law about kicking, but by recidivist offending at the breakdown as well as failing to retreat behind the hind-most body part on defence.
We could be kind and say New Zealand's innately smart rugby players are just being a bit slow to adapt at the moment.
But there needs to be some strong evidence in the next few weeks that players are indeed changing their behaviour and learning how to play the game referees want to see.