The Gods Must Be Crazy

In the great Pantheon of Rugby Gods (Shehadie, Brockhoff, Campese, Ella, Eales) is a gambling game called the Waratahs. Each year the Gods roll the Waratahs dice and each year they come up snake eyes, or 4 and 3 - whichever is worse - the Rolling Maul's game is Blackjack, not craps, and to say you've been dealt a 6 and a 7 is a feeble analogy.

If, alternatively such toying with the Waratahs is not by chance but deliberate policy, then the Gods must have a wicked sense of humour, though given the Queensland Reds and Matt Dunning this seems a likely scenario. As the Waratahs are always dealt dud hands then the deck is being stacked against them - injuries, coaching dramas, administration bungles, poor selection - a hand of twos if there ever was one (which admittedly is not that bad if you have four of them but is weird when you have five, especially if you're playing Blackjack).

Gods Policy is therfore to build a wave of Waratahs expectation heading towards the finals. Each year it flounders in disbelief when the Reds dash supporters hopes despite finishing second last.

But this year the Gods took their eyes off the ball (or the dice or the cards or whatever) and looked favourably upon the Waratahs. Matt Giteau, Schalk Burger, Chris Latham. The star players of each of their repective teams was injured for all or nearly all of their games against the Waratahs. It rained (or more precisely the Heavens opened) at opportune moments, limiting losses, ensuring draws against rampant South Africans and delivering tight wins against teams that like dry tracks. And if Waratahs were injured they were either inexperienced ex-League players, Rocky Elsom just as David Lyons came back from injury or Matt Dunning.

For whatever reason, New South Wales Rugby has finally been rewarded for supplying all the best players to all of the other Australian provinces who have reaped the rewards. Why these provinces even get a vote at the ARU table is a mystery. Surely for moving Bledisloe Tests to Melbourne their voting rights at the ARU table should be rescinded and in future they can have observer status only, and even then only if they shut up and watch the proceedings on closed circuit TV from the North Sydney Rugby club.

While the Gods look favourably at the Waratahs and the craziness continues it is time to reclaim the game for the true believers.


Latho wasn't injured, he took a dive in silent protest of being forced to play against his home state.