There was a day, just one mind, when the halo slipped from Dan Carter's head. Actually, it didn't so much slip as was loosened by Warren Gatland and his Welsh assistant coach Sean Edwards and then prised off by World Rugby.
It made for an astonishing 72 hours, not just because Carter, the undisputed golden child of the world game, ended up in front of the judiciary for the only time in his career.
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The way he ended up there was the bigger story, providing as it did tangible evidence that the real power and influence sits with the Northern Hemisphere and that the biggest personalities based there have the ability to pull strings and be heard.
Carter's temporary fall from grace was the result of a high tackle on Welsh reserve halfback Martin Roberts in November 2009.
The All Blacks were leading 19-9 in Cardiff with 10 minutes remaining when Roberts took a pass from Shane Williams who had made a stunning break into New Zealand's 22.
Carter, covering back, hammered Roberts, but his initial point of contact was the halfback's head. If it happened now, Carter would have been red-carded, but back then, high tackles were seen as part of the game almost and referee Craig Joubert didn't even give Wales a penalty.
To give further context, earlier in 2009 Schalk Burger had been found guilty, on the field, of eye-gouging against the British & Irish Lions and was only yellow carded.
This was pre the days when the TMO could intervene and Joubert said he didn't have a clear enough view of the tackle to know whether it was dangerous or not and Carter stayed on and the All Blacks won 19-12.
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Gatland, in his second season as head coach of Wales, was incensed by the decision to not punish Carter.
When he was interviewed by the BBC on the field after the game he said referees were intimidated by the All Blacks.
By the time he addressed the rest of the media, about half an hour later, he'd calmed down, but only a bit.
"It was a head-high tackle. A guy makes a break in the 22, and if that had happened at the other end then it would have been a penalty and a yellow card," said Gatland. "We don't ask for any favours, just a few calls to go our way. It's trying to change referees' opinions about not wanting to referee upsets. They don't want to be involved in upsets."
When Gatland was asked whether he was suggesting that referees are bias towards New Zealand and in awe of the All Blacks, he smiled and said no. But his assistant coach, Edwards, jumped in and said: "They should have played the last 10 minutes of the game with 14 men. It was a high tackle and you see players get yellow carded for that, you see players red carded for that."
Wales had been hard done by. But just as certain was that Gatland and Edwards had brought the game into disrepute by questioning the integrity of the match officials.
What happened next was astonishing. Citing commissioner Scott Nowland had until Sunday night to decide what to do about Carter, except the process of natural justice was hijacked by World Rugby.
At the after-match function, the All Blacks saw, in plan view, World Rugby boss Mike Miller and Nowland in animated discussion. They were certain, despite World Rugby's protestations to the contrary, that Nowland was ordered to cite Carter.
The interference irked on so many levels. There was the sense that World Rugby had been goaded into it to prove the All Blacks were not beyond being disciplined.
There was the hypocrisy element, as the year before in Cardiff, Welsh No 8 Andy Powell had not been sanctioned or even penalised for a genuinely horrific and malicious high tackle on Richie McCaw.
And there was the sense of a Northern Hemisphere conspiracy as the judicial panel Carter would face was chaired by an Englishman and the All Blacks were due to play England after their next test in Milan.
It felt like an old boy network flexing its muscles and that Carter's reputation was needlessly besmirched to satisfy World Rugby's dented pride and appease Wales' collective rage.
The All Blacks, coaches and players, said all the right things publicly after the incident, but privately, they were angry and when Carter was suspended for a week – missing a test in Milan he was never going to play anyway- they stiffened their resolve to produce a season-defining performance at Twickenham which is exactly what they did.