By Brian Ashby
There was a long stretch when you simply put a ring around Canterbury at the start of the season, and then tried to work out who they would meet in the Mitre 10 Cup final.
In recent years, their star has well and truly faded, with their last title coming in 2017.
Three one-point losses along with handing the Ranfurly Shied over to Taranaki, means the season to this point has been far from memorable for the fifth-placed 14 time-champions.
There haven't been too many things for the red and black faithful to feel enthused about, although there has been one bright light, and it's a very big light too.
Prop Tamaiti Williams has been a stand-out performer and not just because of his monster frame. Listed on various profiles as weighing between 120 and 132 kilograms, Williams admits to putting a little more stress on the bathroom scales.
"I'm closer to 140kgs," Williams said. "Big food bill."
The 21-year-old believes 135 is probably about right for him.
"It seems to be a good balance between bulk and mobility. I'll work to hold around there".
Mobility certainly isn't an issue for the 1.93m prop who has a knack for finding his way to the try line, including in Sunday's loss to Waikato.
Williams was born in Perth and moved back to New Zealand with his family when he was 16.
From St Kentigern College, Williams spent two years in the New Zealand Secondary Schools team before graduating to the New Zealand under 20's. He convinced his parents that a move south outside of his comfort zone to Canterbury was the right move forward for him. He hasn't regretted it.
"Initially it was pretty daunting having All Blacks like Joe Moody, Sam Whitelock and Codie Taylor working with the Canterbury squad," he said.
However he says their approach is very inclusive and caught him a bit by surprise.
"They were constantly asking for feedback and wanted to be challenged. They gave loads of feedback too so you learnt very quickly."
Rightly or wrongly, professional players are often accused of being out of touch with the real world from within the bubble of their franchises.
The criticism isn't always fair with franchises and the Players Association putting a big emphasis on personal development.
Williams is still very much in a development stage in his career, but has already found a way forward in life outside of rugby.
Williams says he wants to look good off the field as well as on it.
"It's pretty hard finding fashionable clothes when you're a big guy, but a mate convinced me to start my own label."
Williams describes his clothing as street wear for oversize people.
"I've called it North Street after the house I grew up in - in Perth. The sizes range from Large to 4XL and I'll have a couple of new shirts dropping soon."
While the label is still in its development phase, Williams is planning on initially marketing his products through Instagram.
For the time being though, Williams will be putting the steam iron aside to focus on the Bay of Plenty Steamers in Saturday afternoon's Mitre 10 Cup clash in Tauranga.