Shane Warne is a much missed spin bowler on the cricketing scene. But it's still mystifying why every halfback in world rugby has aped the Aussie with scrum feeds about as straight as a Warnie leg-break.
From Dunedin to Dublin, Brisbane to Buenos Aires, cheating with the scrum feed has become endemic. Pathetically tolerated by the game's authorities for 25 years or more now, this small act which creates such intense anger and frustration is set to infect another Rugby World Cup.
Revealingly, the IRB named five key areas for referees to focus on at this tournament and the scrum feed wasn't in there.
Never mind that the IRB's own laws of the game, in this case Law 20 (d) on page 141 of the IRB's book on laws states unequivocally: "The scrum half must throw in the ball straight along the middle line."
In reality it means: "The scrum half can furtively slip the ball in among his own forwards' feet.
"In the case of the very best, the wiliest halfbacks, this can mean hitting the feet of the back row men. But that requires a special skill."
One thing is for sure. Referees won't be looking for serial offenders in this field. Not on the evidence of last month's internationals in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres. For when it comes to the scrum feed, cheating, it would appear, has been quietly but officially sanctioned by the game's rulers. Either that or referees just can't be bothered to rule on this aspect of the game.
They may be red-hot on players killing the ball or slowing down the opposition supply at the breakdown. They are fiercely determined to spot offside players at a kick ahead.
But putting the ball in straight to a set scrum? Just about every referee in action this past month has consistently turned a blind eye to halfbacks stuffing the ball in among their own forwards' feet.
Presumably in the interests of a quick game and rapid release of the ball from the set phase, referees are waving play on, completely disregarding the laws of the game.
Yet it is as absurd as forming up a line-out and the thrower chucking the ball in down his own side, so that the opposition has no chance of reaching it. In modern-day rugby, referees rule on a crooked lineout - they order a scrum with the put-in given to the opposition.
The IRB is playing with fire. By allowing the scrums to become a joke, it threatens its existence. The stated aim of a scrum is that it be a true contest for the ball. Yet how can it be when one side is 100 per cent guaranteed to win the ball?
If no one is bothered about this, it would be better for the game as a whole to abandon the entire scrum time wasting saga with all its attendant dangers of injury and frustrations from frequent collapses and resets, and just tap the ball and go.
The authorities obviously don't want a fair contest so what is the point of scrums?