What promise a new year brings.
Al Baxter meets Stephen Jones at a dinner party.
Welsh wind-up scribe pre-game, Wallabies v England: "... a desperate lack in Australia of props with an ounce of credibility on the world stage, because if rugby had the same procedure as boxing in saving the battered from further punishment, then [Wallaby prop Al] Baxter would hardly have finished a match.
"For a great deal of those 50 caps, Baxter's nose has been in the grass. In the 2003 World Cup final, the limitations of Baxter and the Australian scrum were blindingly obvious - to all except the referee.
"Baxter and company staggered on to Twickenham in 2005, and another match of quite awful humiliation for the macho nation. Baxter came up against Andrew Sheridan, then new on the scene. Sheridan demolished Baxter in the scrum and, after Baxter had collapsed for the umpteenth time late on in the game, he was sent to the sin bin ... these three demolition jobs by England finally nailed the myth that Australia could compete up front."
The result: Australia 28, England 14. The Australian scrum dominates; Baxter is a hero. Scenes We'd Like To See (SWLTS) wants Baxter and Jones to meet at a dinner party and the former to force the latter's head slowly into a pavlova while telling him he's a hit writer. One letter short, but still ...
The Black Caps find good test batsmen.
Anyone will do. Honest. Just, please, can we have some batsmen ...?
The Breakers do well again.
The feel-good sports story of the year. The Breakers prove New Zealand franchises (other than rugby) can foot it with the Australians. More, please.
Rotation, finally, is buried.
C'mon, Graham, rotate rotation right out of existence. You did in the Grand Slam tour and look what happened. We've got it - you could have a ritual burning of something. Maybe you could burn all the notes you used when selecting rotated teams, then put the ashes into an urn and we could call them the Ashes, and then we could play a series against the French with the Ashes as the trophy ... Oh.
Piri Weepu gets a start with the All Blacks.
He's a better impact player than Jimmy Cowan, apparently, so he starts on the bench? SWLTS is puzzled. If he's a better player, let him make an impact by starting and finishing and leave Jimmy on the bench. QED.
British rugby becomes attractive to watch.
Okay, even SWLTS knows this won't happen. Most players, most money, biggest crowds - but the most boring rugby.
Tottenham Hotspur get off to a better start in the 2009-10 season.
Spurs' strategy for this season: we have three world-class strikers and one ordinary one. Got it! Let's hire a coach who can't speak English, sell the three class strikers and keep the ordinary one. Whoo-hoo.
Argentina's new coach, Diego Maradona, is most famous for being a hugely talented footballer and an enormous cheat, scoring an infamous goal with his hand to knock England out of the 1986 World Cup. SWLTS hopes Argentina crash and burn, that Maradona is a goner, and that no one ever again picks a fruit loop to coach one of the world's best teams.