Gosh, Australia, we are sorry. We're sorry someone put a bug in an All Blacks room. We're sorry it was found. We're sorry the police were involved. We're even sorry some of us thought you Aussies might have done it.

Who'd make that mistake? Strewth - a Sydney hotel room.

What idiot would think an Australian might be involved? Especially in the week the world champion All Blacks were playing the Woeful Wallabies, more desperate for a win than the Washington Generals (the ever-present opposition for basketball's Harlem Globetrotters - 2495 games before snapping their losing streak).

What were we thinking?


It was obviously the French, wondering if we were still going on about the Rainbow Warrior, or if someone would let slip that there should have been a French penalty awarded in those excruciating penalty-free minutes at the end of the 2011 Rugby World Cup final.

Or maybe it was England coach Eddie Jones. Whoops, forgot - also an Aussie. Sorry, Eddie.

We're sorry the All Blacks management didn't make the bug public until the day of the test, when the Wallabies had a royal show of beating the All Blacks (muffled laughter ... oh, sorry) instead of ending up beaten 42-8, the biggest loss suffered to the All Blacks on Australian soil.

We're sorry about that, too. We shouldn't enjoy beating our big brothers so much. We will all flagellate ourselves with fresh crayfish.

We're sorry, Wally Mason. If you don't know who he is, he's the sports editor of The Australian newspaper and called the incident an "inside job".

He wrote: "Probably now would be a good time to say sorry, New Zealand. So rather than the Wallabies cheating by attempting to bug the All Blacks, the Kiwis got an unfair advantage by unsettling the Australians. Your apology will be gratefully accepted, New Zealand."

But hang on just a minute - here's what The Australian published in August, after the test: "[Wallabies coach Michael] Cheika said the drama surrounding the alleged placement of a bugging device at the All Blacks' meeting room at their hotel in Double Bay had not distracted the Wallabies.

"I don't think anyone accused us of putting it there," Cheika said. "It's got nothing to do with us."

So, Wally - without stooping so low as to point out the highly relevant double meaning of your first name - maybe the apology should be from you to Cheika for contradicting your national coach. And, gosh, we're sorry for pointing that out, too.

The enjoyable Peter FitzSimons, former Wallabies lock and Sydney Morning Herald columnist, had his tongue pressed so hard into his cheek he could clean his ear canals without using his hands. He, too, called for an apology, joking he knew Kiwis wouldn't apologise for the bugging until Aussies apologised for the 1981 underarm incident.

So he did - and he's still waiting for our apology. Tell you what, Fitzy, we'll deliver it in another 36 years, same as you guys did.

When all is said and done, the Aussies don't have a stellar record with apologies. Like the one made to the Aborigines for dispossession of their lands and the stolen generations.

For decades, politicians and other leaders regarded that apology as about as palatable as swallowing a goanna tail first. The call for an apology started in the late 1960s and was finally delivered in 2008 by Kevin Rudd.

Way to expedite, Ockers.

In between, the thoroughly disagreeable John Howard - the PM who jammed the Rugby World Cup medals on the necks of the victorious England team in 2003 as if he wished they were guillotine blades - quibbled and slithered as only politicians can. He finally took to Parliament an "expression of regret" about the Aborigines.

An apology denotes some kind of responsibility; regret is an entirely different thing.

So, tell you what, Australia ... we regret the bug.