Scott Robertson has opened up about his unsuccessful tilt at the All Blacks' head coaching role after being overlooked in favour of Ian Foster for the role.
In what became a two-horse race, Robertson's track record of dominance at every level in New Zealand - where he's failed to win a trophy in just one season as a coach - wasn't enough to convince New Zealand Rugby that he was the man to replace Steve Hansen at the helm of the All Blacks.
Instead, that job went to Hansen's assistant coach Foster, NZR eyeing continuity - albeit on a two-year deal - to start the World Cup cycle as France 2023 looms.
Speaking to Radio Sport this morning though, Robertson candidly told of his process in dealing with the disappointment in missing out on arguably rugby's most coveted job.
"The Christmas break came at the perfect time for me just to reconsider a few things. You go for the job, you're confident; I'm a natural competitor so I saw myself in the role and doing a great job," Robertson said.
"You start to reflect on all that and what it means for me as a coach and my future; I honestly felt like I would have made a difference.
"Once I had time to reflect on what it means for me, I sort of stepped back and thought OK, it's going to be another time. I have a little bit of a plan of how I can get better, that's one thing I've got to do as a coach so the next time it comes around I'm even better than I am now.
Robertson will now turn his focus to the Crusaders, aiming for an unprecedented fourth consecutive Super Rugby title.