Martin Crowson's five things: Premier clubs in league of their own
Martin Crowson looks back at five key points from the weekend's rugby action.
1The English salary cap may well render their clubs' hopes of success in Europe virtually impossible but, in terms of creating a domestic league which is attractive to both fans and sponsors, it has hit the jackpot. As the Aviva Premiership heads towards round 10, there are just six points separating the top eight teams, which creates fantastic interest heading towards the second half of the season.
2Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was a relieved man after Sunday's win against Leicester Tigers. Having enjoyed the better possession, territory and chances, there was still a chance for George Ford to kick what would have been a winning penalty in the last 10 minutes. "Leicester being Leicester just do not go away," said Young. "That's a perfect example of why they keep winning trophies and are in the top four all the time. You just have to keep swatting them away."
3The southern hemisphere's dominance of the autumn internationals has been astonishing. Not only have the 'big three' of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa won all but one of their Tests, but Samoa beat Wales and nearly beat France, while Argentina beat Wales and Tonga recorded a sensational win against Scotland. If England lose to the All Blacks and Wales to Australia this weekend, there could be some serious inquests ahead.
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4Good luck to the bloke who takes over from Andy Robinson as Scotland coach. Rugby has declined so much north of the border that the new man will have a serious task on his hands. With just Glasgow and Edinburgh as professional sides, the new coach may have a clean slate but he will have the same bunch of players to work with. There simply aren't any more to choose from.
5With Aussie Quade Cooper and Kiwi Sonny Bill Williams both having quit pro rugby to become boxers, it got me thinking which Tiger would be the tastiest in the ring. Manu Tuilagi clearly has a decent right hook, Brett Deacon has a long-standing reputation as the hardest man at the club and Dan Cole's stare alone would render most opponents stiff with fear. But I would most like to see Ben Youngs and Micky Young in action. Both are spiky, aggressive and itching for confrontation. Just the way good scrum-halves should be.