Graham Henry has an incredible weight of statistics backing him as the greatest All Blacks coach, yet he knows his career could boil down to just one match - this year's World Cup Final.
New Zealand are overwhelming favourites to beat France in Auckland on Sunday and so end 24 years of misery for this rugby-obsessed nation by adding a second world title to their home success in the tournament's inaugural edition in 1987.
The intervening years have been torturous ones for the All Blacks: defeat in the 1995 Final, semifinal losses in 1999 and 2003 and the shattering quarterfinal exit to France on Henry's watch at the last, 2007, tournament.
Henry feared he would not be back as coach in the upheaval that followed, fully expecting Kiwi rival Robbie Deans to get the job.
Yet he was given another chance and he is just days away from full vindication.
Former headmaster Henry celebrated 100 Tests as All Blacks coach during this World Cup and in 102 Tests has the remarkable success rate of 85 percent with 87 wins and just 15 losses.
Henry may not have the best record of any All Blacks coach - four including Fred 'The Needle' Allen, who presided over 14 wins from 14 Tests from 1966 to 1968, won all their matches in charge and Alex Wyllie had am 86.2 percent record from 29 Tests.
None though have overseen so many games and through the sheer weight of success with the world number one All Blacks in the demanding professional era, Henry has already made a significant mark on rugby history.
But Henry, the only foreign coach of the British and Irish Lions in 2001, known as the 'Great Redeemer' in his 1998-2002 spell in charge of Wales and a four-time International Rugby Board Coach of the Year, realises it's now all about Sunday.
"It is career-defining, I'm afraid," Henry said. "Even though there are a lot of things I am very proud of, this is whether we put the icing on the cake."
The 65-year-old is stepping down after the tournament following seven years as head coach and the odds are he will go out a national hero, following his controversial re-appointment four years ago.
"I had a situation where I either could front or run away and I could not do that [disappear] because I expected them [the players] to front every week in Test matches. That's why I stood. I didn't think I would get the job," Henry recalled.
"When I reapplied in 2007, I thought they would appoint Robbie [Deans], and even in the interview I thought Robbie would get appointed."
Yet the New Zealand Rugby Union, who'd previously axed coaches who'd failed to win the World Cup, put their faith in Henry, voting seven-to-one for him, and Deans headed to Australia to coach the Wallabies.
Henry has been in a noticeably lighter mood at this World Cup.
Gone is his public irritability and waspish exchanges with the media. Now, the 'upside-down smile' is now more commonplace instead.
He and assistants Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith appear to have learned from their mistakes at the previous tournament.
'Ted', as he is known within the All Blacks camp, can also be self-deprecating and has an impish sense of humour.
After the All Blacks overcame dogged Argentina in the quarterfinals, Henry said: "We're through to a semifinal, I've never been there before. It feels bloody amazing."
Henry is meticulous in his game preparation and a shrewd tactician.
"In a general broadbrush term, I am probably the big-picture person. I let the others coach the detail while I'm looking at the gameplan in the sense of outplaying the opposition," he once said.
"It is a rollercoaster and I have been very lucky that the rollercoaster hasn't been too bad. I've only gone through that terrible pain of defeat 15 times out of a hundred."
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