A straw poll of the All Blacks' various opponents in the last decade would confirm that the man they have least enjoyed running into is one Kieran James Read.
The All Blacks captain has a relentless capacity to drive his shoulders into ball runners and hit them with the sort of force that knocks the air clean out of them, which is the basis on which he has become the greatest defensive player of the modern age.
It's also the basis on which he should be judged as the iconic leader the All Blacks need to win a third consecutive World Cup.
Working through the universally accepted checklist of what it takes to win a World Cup, the All Blacks have a world-class goal-kicker, they have two world-class playmakers, they have the collective experience and a defensive system that will be challenging in the extreme to break down.
And in Read, they have the inspirational figure to lead them: a man who commands the respect of his peers for the simple reason that since 2008 when he made his test debut, Read has been hurting people on rugby fields all over the world.
What's been true all his career and particularly so in the last few tests, is that his tackling is almost always technically perfect; it's almost always aggressive, dynamic and ultimately unpleasant for the ball carrier.
Jerry Collins and Jerome Kaino had the ability to hit with more explosive power and produce collisions that were unforgettable, but neither was able to deliver the same volume of crunching, high-end, dominant tackles as Read.
He's won invisible wars in countless tests by sowing the seeds of doubt into opponents who become wary of him as they approach the advantage line.
Read is a grinder in the sense that the psychological damage he inflicts doesn't come off the back of a reputation for one-off, cut-people-in-half tackles.
He's more death by a thousand cuts – relentlessly ploughing into contact, making solid, hard tackles that leave ball carriers bruised but not broken.
They get up, but they are sore and when Read hits them again, they become that little bit sorer until eventually they realise he's not going to stop and the prospect of 80 minutes like that loses much of its appeal.
Everyone feels the impact of Read when he hits them and it's that certainty that it's going to hurt which ultimately proves to be a bigger deterrent than the fear of a one-off big hit.
That was evident at Eden Park on Saturday when a number of Wallabies forwards began dropping the ball in the second half as they had their heads up, scanning for the danger they knew was lurking.
A handful of All Blacks forwards tackled impressively in the second Bledisloe test, but it was Read who led the way, Read who was the inspiration and driver of standards and on the eve of the World Cup he's provided a timely reminder that he's fully recovered from major back surgery and absolutely that iconic, charismatic leader that all great teams need.
Yet it's apparent that not everyone sees Read as being in the great leader category as he's not universally seen as being a great player.
In the last 18 months, he's become a favoured subject of derision for the online trolls and mainstream rent-a-quotes.
They recall Read being the world's premier attacking No 8 in 2013, compare and contrast with how he's played since 2016 and conclude he's lost it. That he's a spent force – half the player he once was.
But at the core of this view is a failure to understand that since 2016, the All Blacks have re-shaped their attacking template and altered Read's role.
In the last World Cup cycle, it was the No 8 who the All Blacks stationed between the tramlines when they attacked wide.
Partly that was driven by Read's athleticism, speed and ability to be creative with his passing and partly because they wanted Kaino playing closer to the ruck to damage a few people.
The roles changed in 2016 when Liam Squire became the regular choice at blindside and the All Blacks wanted to utilise his speed and mobility in their attacking patterns.
They also wanted to use Read's destructive defensive power and have him mostly operating in the heavy traffic where his tackling can send bodies hurtling back from the advantage line.
Read hasn't regressed, he's evolved and his redeployment has been one of the great success stories of this World Cup cycle and his selflessness in dedicating himself to a role that is unquestionably less glamorous is illustrative of why he's been such a good captain.