Key Points:

Much has been made this week of the re-entry into our lives of one Wayne Barnes, referee.

The young Englishman who erred repeatedly during the All Blacks' shameful exit from the World Cup 13 months ago in Cardiff is in charge again tomorrow morning in the test against Scotland. This, it is said, is racking nerves and stirring grief across the nation, the All Blacks squad and for Barnes himself.

Which is nonsense, of course. It is hardly as if the name Wayne Barnes resonates in these parts. Few would remember him and fewer would truly believe that New Zealand's failure last year was down to his decisions. The theory that it was the referee, with the whistle, in the National Stadium, who murdered hope has been mythologised in a surprisingly short space of time.

In reality, memories of that sad Sunday morning properly dwell on a clueless, leader-light All Black side without a drop goal in their repertoire or a gamebreaker in their squad.

Predictably, elements of the Home Nations media have conjured blood feuds and scores to settle. We are a small, sullen rugby nation unable to let a scapegoat go free. Get over it, they opine.

Which is all so passe. We got over Barnes, the loss, even the retention of Graham Henry as coach, remarkably quickly. The premature World Cup failure was our third on end and we have become practised in the journey of grief, catharsis and groundless optimism. As fast as you can say Tri Nations and Bledisloe Cup, the black legend lives on.

What matters now is the chance for a pick-up team of second-string All Blacks and NPC stars to maintain our perplexing record of inter-World Cup dominance and set the team on course for a possible Grand Slam. Referee willing.