Ten Big Rugby Issues

So much material so little time. The world of Rugby is awash with juicy material just waiting for a sarcastic smart-arse blogger to comment on. Here are The Rolling Maul's top ten issues for the week:

1) Waratahs assistant coach Scott Wisemantel was quoted in the paper this week speaking of his attacking theory whereby the wingers and fullback should play like three fullbacks and be the "eyes" of the back line. He says one of their roles should be to communicate their reading of the game to the centres - the "ears". Whatever. The point is, who's the arsehole? Matt Dunning is obviously the stomach while Sam Norton-Knight is either the appendix or the tonsils (ie useless).

2) Matt Dunning is unhappy with his contract negotiations and wants all players to have their pay published. That's a pretty big call for a player who's been injured for the last six months, played most of the last Super 14 and Wallabies seasons from the bench and has seen, at the very least, Al Baxter, Ben Robinson and Ben Alexander street ahead in the Wallaby pecking order.

3) Canadian Rugby player plays for Sydney Swans. If definitive evidence was needed that Aussie Rules is turning into Rugby then here you have it. the only difference being that there's more kicking in Rugby, more hands in the ruck in Aussie Rules, and more physical contact in Aussie Rules (though they call it a melee and it's really just a homo-erotic stroking contest).

4) Swine flu pandemic threatens to lead to the limit of mass gathering of crowds for fear of spreading the disease. So the Waratahs shouldn't be affected then.

5) Kurtley Beale resigns with the Waratahs. Oh. Re-signs. Bugger.

6) Overconfidence proving to be the greatest challenge to team victories this season. The good news coming out of the Waratahs camp is that that won't be a problem for them. Indeed so under confident are the Waratahs that most of their players have been quoted in the press this week bemoaning how crap they are and admitting that they don't know how to pass, kick or run. Training sessions this week have resembled Wallarugby training camps. Each player has been rewarded with an ice cream at the end of a day's training, each received a souvenir t-shirt and cap, and they all got to fawn over their hero Matt Burke who was shipped in at great expense to inspire the Warakiddies with tales of bottom ogling from behind the kicker. And now much like Wallarugby matches expect the Waratahs this weekend to follow the ball in a big excited pack before fading after 15 minutes and complaining that the big kid is hogging the ball.

7) Rolling Maul still desperately short of a bandwagon. Just when you think the Reds are in form they're out of it then back in it and then who knows what. The Highlanders and the Brumbies both looked promising before falling into a hole. God forbid but the way that this competition is going the Waratahs are due for a few glorious wins and The Rolling Maul will have to revert to blue. Actually that's just being ridiculous.

8) ELVs dead and buried and with them go the tap and run. It wasn't working anyway. Rod Kafer on The Rugby Club (funny sort of Club - where are the pokies?) pointed out that not one Waratahs scrum this season has seen the ball travel from half back to winger (it was getting dropped or kicked before it got that far). Clearly the ELVs are to blame as in past years the Waratahs had no trouble spinning the ball out to Lote or Lachie and then it getting dropped or kicked.

9) Manly Sea Eagles Rugby League team really are a one man team full of drunks and dickheads (what did happen to Scott Fava's Waratahs career?). It's not looking good for the Force in 2010.

10) Australia and New Zealand threaten to leave SANZAR and form a trans-tasman provincial competition. And the bad news is?