Brendan Cannon has long been at peace with the realisation the power of his right hand sadly bears no relation to his surname.
So the former Wallabies hooker was relaxed when asked to revisit the dubious distinction of his 42-test career - that notorious blow-by-blow confrontation with Keven Mealamu during a rain and windswept Bledisloe Cup clash in Wellington back in 2004.
Cannon, the front rower turned television analyst, fielded the inquiry with the resignation he felt once the hardest hit he'd ever unleashed caused Mealamu's head to move, by his reckoning, like he was nodding- but unfortunately not nodding off.
"I do get asked about it a lot and my response is it was devastating, devastating in the sense it did absolutely nothing to Keven Mealamu," he said.
"You line someone up, you give him your best and his head moves half an inch and nothing else really happens ....then you think 'I'm in a lot of trouble here. I need to get a gun or something to sort this out'."
Instead, Cannon had to keep his powder dry at Westpac Stadium as both combatants were sinbinned by Alain Rolland, an opportunity for the pair to get stitched up and exchange genuine pleasantries about their respective families in the sick bay.
Cannon remembers the aftermath of the incident - and his subsequent run-ins with Mealamu - fondly so he is thrilled his old sparring partner becomes the All Blacks third test centurion at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night.
He insists he'll derive as much satisfaction from Mealamu's milestone as his wife's cousin potentially becoming the Wallabies' 12th debutant of an injury-ravaged international programme.
James Hanson was promoted to the bench as Tatafu Polota-Nau's back-up after Saia Fainga'a broke a hand on Tuesday and was under instructions not to attempt to restore family honour in time-honoured fashion.
"I've already said 'Don't go near his head'. I've proved that's ineffective. I haven't tested Kevvy's ribs yet so give them a go," Cannon joked.
He has nurtured Hanson's development since the 24-year-old's primary school days but had kept his distance this week.
"All I'd say just enjoy it. I really hope he gets on. Everyone says it a dead rubber, can you disrespect a Wallaby All Black game and say it's a dead rubber? I don't think you can.
"There's no more important game for James Hanson this weekend."
Cannon also appreciates the significance Bledisloe III holds for Mealamu.
"He's been a fantastic servant for New Zealand rugby, he's a fantastic ambassador. He's a cage fighter on the footy field, he's the hardest guy I ever played against but off the field he's an absolute gentleman.
"We've always had a fantastic on field rivalry and an even better friendship off the field. He's just a true champion, Kevvy," he said, as the plaudits continued.
"His importance to that All Black side, not just his experience but the composure he brings to that forward pack, his consistency .....he represents what the All Blacks are about."
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