Late last year, Scott Robertson presented his future rugby vision to an ageing panel deliberating on a new All Blacks coach. Gregor Paul analyses why Robertson's pitch fell flat, and what the fallout is likely to be for New Zealand Rugby.
It's incomprehensible but now inevitable that the most successful Super Rugby coach in history is going to have no choice but to leave New Zealand in search of his next job.
It's a crazy, sad situation that Scott Robertson may lead the Crusaders to five straight titles – certainly four – and then walk into the coaching box of one of the All Blacks' key rivals.
Robertson was plotting the demise of the resurgent Blues on Saturday night but in another three years he'll most likely be plotting a way to beat the All Blacks at the next World Cup.
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No one should kid themselves that's not a possibility bordering on probability. Besides, there's no need to hypothesise as Robertson is only contracted to the Crusaders until next year and so will be able to test for himself whether it is true that the only international team in the world that doesn't want him is the All Blacks.
It's possible he could extend his time in Christchurch, but it's a sort of 'humans could exist on Mars' possible.
Robertson, unless there is a dramatic change of circumstances and sudden invitation to get involved with the All Blacks in a way that works for him, will be heading offshore after Super Rugby next year.
And given that his longer-term ambition is to be head coach of the All Blacks, he knows that the missing piece in his coaching CV at the moment is experience in the international game.
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He could, even allowing for the economic carnage caused by Covid-19, make a tonne of cash coaching one of the major European or Japanese clubs.
But he's kind of already been there, done that with Perpignan and another stint in club football isn't going to advance his cause on the All Blacks' front.
So maybe he does have a pathway after all – working his way back to the All Blacks via one of their rivals.
Apparently the panel which made the All Blacks coaching appointment last year was bemused by Robertson's presentation.
Most of it flew over their heads, but then two of the panel were in their 70s and what they decided was gobbledygook, is the sort of inspired thinking that has made such a deep and lasting connection with the Crusaders players most of whom are Generation Y and Millennials.
England's Eddie Jones, a fiendishly smart and canny operator who has spent enough time in left-field himself to know a rugby visionary, would snap up Robertson in a heartbeat.
Jones would relish going to France in 2023 with Robertson in his coaching team, not just for the inside knowledge and rugby smarts he'd bring, but because his presence would also torment the All Blacks.
There would be an easy storyline for Jones to exploit, that right there in the England coaching box was the Kiwi who got away.
How easy would it be to conjure a headline about New Zealand's profligacy in letting the most successful Super Rugby coach walk into the arms of England?
And it won't just be England who are interested. Ireland have taken a risk in appointing the relatively unproven Andy Farrell and by next year, the idea of hiring Robertson with his former Crusaders assistant Ronan O'Gara might be overwhelmingly tempting.
The list of countries who will be interested is, in fact, endless because Robertson has the sort of cast-iron credentials that remove any uncertainty about his value.
He has already won three successive titles with the Crusaders and is well on track to make it four now they lead the competition by six points with the finish line in sight.
Who knows what shape Super Rugby will take next year, but whatever it looks like, the Crusaders will start favourites and, spoiler alert, probably be crowned champions.
No matter what happens, Robertson has already enjoyed an enormously successful tenure and proven himself as the sort of coach who could make a difference to any test team in the world.
He surrounds himself with smart people and listens to them. He analyses the game through a quirky lens that lulls opponents into thinking he might be a bit of a kook when in fact he's a rugby savant.
Supposedly the New Zealand professional system is all about creating pathways for the best to emerge and develop and yet Robertson, a fantastically creative and innovative coach who hasn't seen his Crusaders lose a home Super Rugby game on his watch, will be asking why there is a giant brick wall in his career path.