If you took everything seriously that's been written about Ian Foster getting the All Black coaching job it'd be hard not to feel that his coaching team will soon be revealed as being The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
"Rugby's dead", a chance for excitement "has been lost", a triumph for "cronyism over competence", and "a disaster" are some of the comments so far.
Fortunately for the All Blacks, reaction to a coaching appointment, and how that coach has actually performed, usually has very little connection.
You don't need to go back decades for a prime example.
When it was learned that Graham Henry, after the All Blacks had crashed out in the quarter-final of the 2007 World Cup, would reapply for the job, in a head-to-head contest with Robbie Deans, a journalist tracked down 50 former All Blacks who, to a man, backed Deans.
Former All Black coach and captain Fred Allen said Henry, "will be an old man by 2011. It's time for a change". Four more former All Black captains, Buck Shelford, Ian Kirkpatrick, Tane Norton, and Stu Wilson sided with Allen. Kirkpatrick said, "Maybe if he (Henry) said 'I stuffed up' I'd back him. But he didn't". Buck Shelford said, "Ego is starting to control the affairs of Graham Henry. The World Cup was a disaster. It's time to move on. We need a change". Laurie Mains, coach of the 1995 World Cup All Blacks, said "I am still amazed that Graham Henry has not resigned. It's quite unbelievable".
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When the NZRU made the decision early in December of 2007 the union wasn't so much pushing against the tide of public opinion as spitting in the face of a Tsunami.
The New Zealand Herald reported the brief, visceral reaction of one former All Black coach: "Oh, for f***'s sake". Highly experienced rugby writer, Wynne Gray, reflected the general mood when he said, "Retaining Henry did not reflect the mediocrity of the entire season and a flawed entire World Cup campaign, let alone the Cardiff capitulation".
All of the invective would have come back to haunt Henry and the NZRU, if not for the fact that Henry went on to not only lead the All Blacks to a World Cup win in 2011, and become Sir Graham Henry.
What's often forgotten in the furore over Henry's 2007 reappointment is that he also wasn't the public choice for the All Black job when he was first selected in 2003.
That year the All Blacks' head coach at the World Cup in Australia had been John Mitchell.
Beaten 22-10 by Australia in the 2003 semifinal, the day after the All Blacks beat France 40-13 in the playoff for third place, an NZRU press conference was held in Sydney.
CEO Chris Moller soon made it clear Mitchell would struggle to keep his job. "I think there are a number of areas of improvement that are required and certainly we need to lift the bar in a number of areas.
"I think all of you would raise some concerns around the areas of the media, probably the interface with the rugby union and possibly some sponsor activity as well."
Chairman Jock Hobbs said the job might have been advertised even if the All Blacks had won the Cup, but that "we're not happy that we haven't won the World Cup and nor is John Mitchell. We're very disappointed. It was our No 1 priority for the year".
Later, on TVNZ's Sunday programme, Mitchell would say the comments of Hobbs and Moller were "hard to swallow. It was like my employer did not support me". He got that 100 per cent right. But if his masters were ready to ditch him, rugby fans were not.
On the same TV show Mitchell made the valid point his record as All Black coach, with 83 per cent of games won, was, at the time, the best of the professional era, where the average winning ratio had 72 per cent.
The campaign worked with the public. On Tuesday December 9 on the Paul Holmes show 8889 people paid to vote on who should be All Black coach. Two-thirds favoured Mitchell over Henry. But that sentiment didn't sway the NZRU. Ten days later they announced Henry would be the new coach.
What conclusions can be fairly drawn from the 2019 appointment? That, as in 2007 and 2003, public feelings don't carry much weight in the New Zealand Rugby boardroom. Robertson, an open book, and an honest and fascinating one too, has won hearts way beyond the Crusaders' catchment area. Foster, a much more low key personality anyway, and almost required by the assistant role at the All Blacks to keep his head down, was unlikely to ever attract the affection of fans as Robertson does. But the fact is Robertson would have been the public choice, and NZR wasn't swayed by that.
Does public affection matter? Emotionally we ask as much of an All Black coach as we do of a Prime Minister. We may not all profess to be experts on trade deficits and rates of company tax, but we sure as hell feel confident to rip to shreds a coach's selection policies or the tactics he employs. The trick for a national coach, as it will be for Foster, is to keep any angst amongst rugby followers at arm's length, not allowing it to stress him, until he can fully establish his own persona. Fortunately for Foster he's actually likeable and articulate, so the more he's in the media spotlight the better his chances of winning hearts and minds.
In the end isn't winning the only thing that really counts? Not the only thing, but by far the most important element.
If Foster can get the All Blacks up and running in a hurry next year (and beating the Cup winning Springboks would be at the top of the wish list), then everything else becomes much easier. Best of all would be if the All Blacks can win playing the daring, hire wire, risk taking footy that saw them dismantle Ireland in the quarter-final in Japan. Let's hope that the hiding dished out in the semi-final by England was mainly due to a lack of passion in our forwards, rather than a failure of Foster's attacking plans for the backline. Having sat through that gruesome 80 minutes in Yokohama I suspect it was a failure of attitude rather than tactics. I hope I'm right.
Does the two year appointment for Foster hint of a lack of confidence? No. Remember that Steve Hansen's initial contract as head coach from 2012 was only for two years. It'd be remiss to give a four year blank cheque at the start of a new regime.
Finally, the challenge now for new NZR CEO Mark Robinson and his workmates, is to do everything they can to keep Scott Robertson in the game. The Foster-Robertson decision was one between not just two very good coaches, but two very good men. To alienate Robertson, after the way he's committed everything he has to coaching Canterbury, the New Zealand under-20 side, and the Crusaders would not only be morally wrong, but also stupid from a hard eyed business perspective.