Good on the Blues if they're chasing Beauden Barrett. They will never win a Super Rugby title without a word class first-five.
All the New Zealand teams that have won were driven by a dominating player at 10.
Carlos Spencer when the Blues began in 1996 and 1997, Andrew Mehrtens at the Crusaders for four titles, Dan Carter at the Crusaders for three, Richie Mo'unga for two so far.
Add in Aaron Cruden at the Chiefs in 2012 and 2013, and Barrett at the Hurricanes in 2016.
First-fives have always played a crucial role in a top-level team, and All Black assistant coach Ian Foster, himself a 10 for Waikato in 148 games over 14 seasons to 1998, says the job has become more complex since he was a player.
"First-fives used to basically run the game, which involved staying a little bit deeper, so you stayed alive, on your feet more. If you were in trouble you gave the ball to someone else to do the dirty work.
"So he was the key decision-maker, but there were less decisions to make. Now the game is more multi-faceted, so a first-five is getting information and calls from many other players, which have to be processed. We want more from a first-five on defence, we want a first-five to aggressively challenge the line, and he may have to be involved at a breakdown clearing the ball.
"There are some games now where there may be 80 or 90 rucks, and there's a decision to made at every one."
It's easy to blame the Blues for a lack of recruiting skills in not finding a commander in chief at first-five.
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They've never found a proper replacement for Spencer, and skirted with mockery when in 2014 they signed up Benji Marshall, a terrific league player, but in the twilight of his career.
But in the past, they made genuine runs at Carter and Barrett.
In 2008, Carter was living in Auckland with Honor Dillion, now his wife, renting Doug Howlett's luxury five-bedroomed house in Dexter Ave off Dominion Road, an easy five-minute drive to Eden Park.
Late in the year, he would open GAS in Newmarket, a clothing shop he had shares in.
He decided, he says in his 2015 book, to test the contract waters and maybe play in Auckland.
The Blues, about to be coached by Pat Lam, "came up with a ridiculously good offer".
But then the Crusaders counter offered, and, says Carter, the killer blow for the Blues came from his grandmother.
"My Nana called me. She was very upset and begging me not to play for Auckland. That got me thinking about all the thousands of Canterbury people I'd be disappointing by leaving. That, probably more than anything else, led to me re-signing (with the Crusaders)."
A tilt at Barrett in 2014 was the real deal.
That year the Blues, in their second season with Sir John Kirwan as coach, made what insiders say was a "top end offer" to Barrett, which covered a salary from the Blues, a contract with Auckland, with a third party agreement added to the pot.
Ultimately Barrett chose to stay with the Hurricanes and Taranaki.
Carter and Barrett are the sort of players to build a side around.
Their huge talent is a giant plus, but another major reason for chasing them is that a first-five is part of a crucial trio, with a halfback and a No 8, who control so much of what happens on the field.
It can be a harsh, unforgiving position. Ask Spencer, who could win games in a dazzling split second, for Auckland and the Blues in the late 1990s.
He would also battle with an image for brittleness, summed up in a cruel question once posed in Metro magazine.
"If you buy a coffee at Carlos Spencer's Downtown cafe, will it be brilliant one day, and shit the next?"
Or look at what happened to Quade Cooper in 2011, playing for the Wallabies in the World Cup semifinal against the All Blacks at Eden Park.
At his best Cooper was a near genius but he has massive flaws.
The one that interested the All Blacks the most before the semifinal was that he's erratic under the high ball.
To shield Cooper from head-on tackling, when the All Blacks put the ball into scrums, his coach Robbie Deans concealed Cooper at fullback.
A paddock 100 metres long and 50 metres wide is pretty big, but no matter where the Aussies tried to hide him on defence, the All Blacks found Cooper with their kick and chase.
By the end of the game, he'd been harried, chased and rattled into a state of impotence.
Carter, Barrett or Richie Mo'unga stay cool under pressure.
It's a characteristic of many All Black first-fives.
Former teammates swear that in the 1970s the unflappable Canterbury and All Black first-five Doug Bruce was known to casually stub out a cigarette on the players' tunnel wall before he jogged into the field.
The current crop of first-fives at the Blues, Otere Black, Stephen Perofeta and Harry Plummer, have all been recruited from the best possible source, the under-20 New Zealand side.
Black, in 2015, and Perofeta, in 2017, won world titles with the side, while Plummer, in 2018, had to settle for fourth place.
Nevertheless, from 2015 (Perofeta was also in the 2016 side), every first-five in the national under-20 team for four seasons in a row is at the Blues.
Blues' coach Leon MacDonald now has to hope that the lack of command at 10 is not because of a lack of talent, but a lack of experience.
At 24 Black is a grizzled veteran compared to Perofeta, 22, and Plummer, just 20.
There are some exceptional players who play like champions at first-five from the time they're kids, but even Carter began his career as a second-five with Canterbury.
When Mehrtens was introduced into the Canterbury team in 1993, coach Vance Stewart played him as often at fullback as he did at first-five.
All Black selector Grant Fox was a 19-year-old in just his second season out of Auckland Grammar, when John Hart put him into the 1982 Auckland side.
Did he sometimes look out of his depth?
In my memory, he did.
Luckily Hart was a much smarter judge of talent than I was, telling Fox at the time he believed in him "as an investment for the future".
By 1987 Fox was a crucial player as the All Blacks won the World Cup.
If the future for the Blues ultimately doesn't include Barrett, they'll have to make the same sort of decision Hart did with Fox, betting the house on one of their young contenders.
Patience will then be a virtue they should cling to.
"The challenge with young, talented, first-fives, who are great with the ball in hand," says Foster, "is to add through experience the decision-making skills.
''Look at how Beauden (Barrett) and Richie (Mo'unga) have grown their games with experience.
"Time in the saddle, you can't beat it."
Phil Gifford and Simon Barnett are back together on Newstalk ZB from July 1.