COMMENT: Jeez, we're a fickle lot. There was a rising tide of opinion that Akira Ioane's career would benefit if he signed for the Hurricanes while all the background noise has been about the Blues' inability to hold and nurture their own players.
The man's talent is undeniable and quite why the All Blacks haven't made him a special coaching project is beyond me. How he's not the next-best prospect for No 8 behind a reconstructed captain Kieran Read is baffling so why waste any chances to get him sorted for next year's World Cup.
Of those next in line who is better? Luke Whitelock is competent, Jordan Taufua is bustling and busy, Gareth Evans is an all-rounder who did not tick the panel's interest and injuries have followed Blade Thomson.
No other No 8 has the dynamism Ioane can bring and while his issues are apparent so is his upside with all that power, pace and a skills package to buff and polish.
There's plenty to hone and maybe the All Black coaches have got this sorted and have embarked on Project Akira but want to keep that under wraps.
The way he swats and barges defenders out of the way or evades others who are anchored is remarkable enough and if those natural gifts are given more guidance then Ioane's international potential is inevitable.
Finding players who have an athletic edge is a golden claim in this rugby world of figures and statistics. Coaching and working with them is the next step and the All Blacks must have Ioane on some programme.
Ignoring him would be such a shameful waste.
We only see what's happening on the surface. We see the petulance when he is confronted on the field, we see times when he tries to steamroll everyone instead of offloading and those traits can be remedied. There may be other issues but Ioane was one of the standby squad for France throughout June where the staff had weeks to work on his game.
How much he wants to improve to be alongside his brother and what motivates him best are discussions for the coaches.
A fit and focused Ioane has to be the best back-up No 8 to Read and if he gets a chance the calibre of the All Blacks means he has to strap discipline to his potential.
Showing that learning and attitude is his task in the final two games of the Blues campaign. A high work-rate mixed with power defence and some direct rampages will help in a juicy schedule as Ioane and his mates take on the Canes tonight then Read and the Crusaders in their final hit-out.