This week's Clubroom Winners & Losers focuses on the most thankless of roles – the coaches.
The Black Caps coach appears to live by the mangled motto of 'speak softly and carry a small stick', so it was a surprise to see him not only be publicly critical of his team in the wake of a miserable performance in T20 IV against Australia, but also back it up with action.
Out went Kyle Jamieson, who has hit the first significant speedbump in his international career, and in came Mark Chapman, whose naked left-arm spin just about qualifies him as an allrounder. Down the order went wicketkeeper Tim Seifert, who has looked shorn of confidence in 2021 extending back to the Super Smash, and up came Devon Conway.
Stead claimed his side didn't fire a shot in the fourth T20I, which levelled the series at 2-2 and handed Australia momentum heading into the decider.
However, they did nothing but fire shots in the finale, from bowling 12 overs of spin - including in the powerplay - to Conway playing exactly the sort of heady innings required to partner somebody as mercurial as Martin Guptill.
It was a dominant performance, led by the coach. It's not something you'd want to do too often, especially in a sport that has, by and large, learned to keep emotions out of the dressing rooms; but the odd kick up the butt can go a long way.
We're well past the point now where every Crusaders win feels like, well, a point-scoring exercise.
The most exciting, dynamic coach in the sport shrugged off a week of commentary concerning the darker arts of his side's relentless success to destroy another rival and send an explicit message to those who might have designs on their title: "We'll take some ******** beating."
Robertson's team is loaded with talent but that alone doesn't explain why they're always a step ahead.
He seems to have been touted for every potential international job running. One day he might actually take one.
Talking of coaches who should have got a shot earlier, it's still freakish to think that Taurua, with a rock-solid domestic CV behind her, wasn't deemed the best person to coach the Silver Ferns in 2015.
If you were being kind to Netball New Zealand you could claim that delaying her ascent to the top job provided the drive for what she's doing now; and what's she's doing now is pretty much what's she's always done – coach teams to win games of netball.
And to return to the above point, yes, that would be giving NNZ way too much credit.
KEVIN BARRY & EUGENE BAREMAN
New Zealand's two highest-profile fight trainers have endured rough weeks.
The first signal something wasn't right in the Joseph Parker camp came during the all-New Zealand heavyweight bout with Junior Fa. Although Parker won – and quite convincingly it should be added – there was flatness and a dull edge in his performance that was in contrast to the supreme physical shape the former WBO champ turned up in.
The second signal was the post-fight press call where Barry was almost apologetic about Parker's performance. By the end of the week, the partnership was over.
There's an undeniable logic to the split. Decamping to Barry's Las Vegas base is no longer an attractive option for a man with three daughters in Auckland. More than that, however, is the sense that Parker needs a new voice in his ear.
It might not work. There is a chance that having exceeded expectations in winning a title belt, Parker doesn't have the intrinsic stuff (or the need for another big pay day) required to get one back. If he does, it'll be up to a new trainer to find it.
The losing trainer in the above fight was, by his own admission, not really Fa's trainer.
Bareman was more of a front man while Doug Viney did the hard graft on the boxing side of the gym.
That wasn't the case in Las Vegas where he was front and centre for his most famous student Israel Adesanya's first UFC loss.
To be fair to Bareman, there was plenty of mitigating factors, most notably that his middleweight was fighting a light heavyweight champ, but it will still sting.
"We have to do what we do best, which is come back from losses. It's something we're really good at," Bareman told ESPN.
It's not something Adesanya has ever had to contemplate, and it's no doubt not something the impressive Bareman wants to get too used to ever.
Both Barry and Bareman have incredible stories to tell – the past eight days won't feature heavily in them.
WARREN GATLAND & CLAYTON McMILLAN
The spotlight continues to shine an ever-harsher light on the risky thinking behind Gatland's appointment to the Chiefs.
To make it clear where this column stands, Gatland to the Chiefs appeared a great "get" and the pause-clause to allow him to take a sabbatical to coach the Lions felt worth it at the time.
Chiefs CEO Michael Collins said the appointment was made with "his eyes wide open".
Now it looks like a move that could set the franchise back years.
If the Chiefs need a rebuild, Gatland is not going to be able to implement it until 2022 and won't realise the fruits of that until later.
If the Lions tour to South Africa is postponed for a year, more complications arise.
Placeholder coach McMillan also went in, presumably, with eyes wide open but even after just one round, there are genuine fears the Hamilton-based side is stuck in a purgatory from which there is no easy way forward, and not even an easy way to go backwards to get forward.
Since the sad and ongoing demise of Sports Illustrated, the best American sports journalism (using the term sports journalism loosely) lives at Outside. Here's another example.
No-brainer really. The 36th America's Cup starts on Wednesday at 16.12 and if you can't get in front of TVNZ, follow the live blog right here on nzherald.co.nz with expert analysis from Mark Orams, the Sailing Professor. With a bit of luck, he'll get to analyse a bit of passing, something that was sadly missing from the Prada Cup.