When Daniel Carter came to take his first kick for goal in test rugby, he took so long the referee had to tap him on the shoulder to tell him to hurry up.
He stood looking at the posts for an age and afterwards he was asked if the delay was a sign of nervousness or because he was so relaxed.
He said the former, but that was the thing about Carter, no matter the inner turmoil – whatever sea of emotions were washing around inside the pit of his stomach – he looked and played as if he never once doubted himself or was anything other than supremely relaxed.
There wasn't a better playmaker under pressure than Carter. Not Jonny Wilkinson, not Stephen Larkham. He was better than Andrew Mehrtens and better than Michael Lynagh. All the great No 10s had that treasured ability to stay calm, see space rather than the toothless, angry No 7 coming towards them, but Carter was the best at it.
Just as he was the best goal-kicker. There will be statistics that will say he wasn't but numbers don't always tell the true story.
Carter seemingly never missed when his team really needed points. And if every great player could be whisked into a time machine and taken to the prime of their respective careers, who would be chosen to kick the pressure goal? It would be Carter every time.
We could keep going through all the component parts of a first-five's game and Carter would keep coming out on top.
The English will swear that Wilkinson was the best tackling No 10 in history. He was tough and he could hit hard, but Carter brought more control and effectiveness to his tackling.
And his defensive work-rate was unparalleled. Carter was a regular in the glossy magazines, but he put his head in dangerous places, jumped up and did it again for 19 years.
But the essence of his game was what he did with the ball. His second test performance against the British and Irish Lions will maybe never be surpassed.
Beauden Barrett produced an epic performance against the Wallabies in 2018 where he scored four tries, but Carter's was different back in 2005, because while he scored 33 points that night, it was the total tactical package that provided the wow factor.
In those early years of his career, when he hadn't been blunted by too much rugby and the inevitable cheap shots that he suffered as a result of his class, he was a show-and-go No 10. One look, one step and he'd be off, slicing and dicing defences that had previously been impregnable.
When the injuries mounted and his legs maybe didn't have the same spring in them, he used his brain and boot to hurt teams and never has there been a more calculating and brilliant tactical general than Carter at the 2015 World Cup.
That tournament will remain his finest work. There was the bravery to even make it there after two years, three years even, of constant injury which saw him barely play. There were the self-doubts that plagued him in those endless dark hours of rehabilitation and the genuine fears he may never play again, or worse, never be picked by the All Blacks to play again.
But he picked everything he needed out of the mental and physical rubble and pieced himself together to produce the sort of campaign that was beyond every other No 10 on the planet.
He erupted into life against France with a stunning break and offload. It was the trigger for the All Blacks, with Carter pulling the strings, to produce the most destructive 80 minutes the World Cup has seen.
Against South Africa the following week, Carter was the difference. Would the All Blacks have made it through that arm-wrestle without him? Not a chance.
He dropped a goal when they were 15-10 down and drifting out of the game, kicked penalties and conversations from the touchline and in the final 10 minutes he kept the Boks out of kickable penalty range with his composure and phenomenal kicking game.
And in the final, 21-17 ahead but with the Wallabies building momentum from having been 21-3 down, Carter boomed a huge goal, then an even longer penalty.
It was the moment he richly deserved – proving he was the best player in the world at a World Cup. It's what he had always wanted and what everyone always knew.
He retires as the best No 10 the All Blacks have produced. He retires as the best No 10 the world has ever known.