He did not have to deal with a single collision – but Al Kellock was still required to summon up all his leadership qualities to help ensure his squad maintained their focus following one of the toughest days of his career.
Scotland's captain suffered the weirdest and most painful of weekends when he found himself left not only out of the starting XV, but the entire match 22 for Sunday's crucial World Cup Pool B loss to Argentina.
It was a decision that could have left him feeling hurt or even embarrassed but the Glasgow Warriors skipper has drawn considerable praise from his coaches for the way he accepted the situation and supported those who had been chosen.
There is a very strong chance that if Jim Hamilton recovers from a knee injury, Kellock will not be involved against England this week either, which will mean what should have been one of the greatest experiences of his career could instead result in him playing only Scotland's opening tie when they struggled to beat lowly Romania.
However, the big lock's only consideration as the squad touched down in Auckland was to ensure that everyone understood that they still have a role to play.
Scotland must beat England this weekend by more than seven points and hope the result in the Georgia versus Argentina match goes in their favour.
"We've all got a responsibility," he explained. "Obviously there are those guys who are suffering both mentally and physically, which is tougher than those of us who are just down about the result.
"The rest of us went to the gym yesterday which was a good way of getting the frustration out. We were very clear that today was the day that we move on while yesterday was the day to get the bodies right and get the minds right. As soon as we got up this morning it's all about this weekend."
Meanwhile, head-coach Andy Robinson has urged his team to take belief from past performances into the must-win game against England.
He said:"We know what we need to do and there is total trust in the whole squad that mentally and physically they are able to rise to the challenge."
Robinson is set to name his team on Thursday, with Kelly Brown the main concern due to a head knock. Richie Gray had to come off with a hamstring injury against Argentina and could also be a doubt.
Earlier today, Italy kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals with a bonus-point 27-10 victory over the United States.
Italy are now level with Australia in Pool C with 10 points, three points behind Ireland. And if Italy beat Ireland on Sunday in Dunedin and the Wallabies beat Russia, Ireland will be out.
In the other clash, Canada drew 23-23 with Japan.
World Cup Pool B is finely poised with three teams – Scotland, England and Argentina – vying for two qualifying positions.
Scotland and England play on Saturday while Argentina meet Georgia the next day. Entering the final round of matches, England lead on 14 points, with Argentina and Scotland tied on 10 each.
Four points are awarded for a win, with one additional point for scoring four tries or more and one point for a losing team which finishes within seven points of the opposition. Here's what needs to happen for Scotland to progress in the competition...
Scotland qualify first, England second
lScotland win by more than eight points, Argentina lose.
lScotland win with a four-try bonus point and Argentina win without a bonus point.
England qualify first, Scotland second
lScotland win by seven points or fewer and Argentina lose.
lScotland and Argentina lose but Scotland gain more bonus points.
lEngland and Scotland draw and Argentina lose.
Argentina qualify first, Scotland second
lArgentina win with a four-try bonus point, Scotland win by eight points or more and England pick up no bonus points.
lArgentina win with a four-try bonus point and Scotland win with a four-try bonus point.
Qualification to be decided on points difference
lScotland win by eight points or more and Argentina win.