COMMENT

Another day in sports, another Aussie embarrassment on display.

Why has Australia become so stupid in sport? Seriously.

They used to have the smartest rugby players, the most stylish tennis exponents, cricketers who took the game to unbelievable levels of skill...and even their roguish league characters had character.

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Now they come across as a bunch of underperforming bozos.

There are exceptions of course - humanitarian rugby player David Pocock and...give us a few minutes to think.

Okay, I'm being a bit cheeky there, but Aussie sport has fallen into a very weird hole.

How about this one?

On the eve of this year's NRL finals, we've got yet another salary cap scandal. Yes, another one. Yahoooooooooo. Aren't we the lucky ones.

In the past two decades, there have been around 90 punished salary cap breaches from the very great to the relatively small, and the issue shows not enough signs of going away.

Every club has been caught at least once (including the Warriors), and some many times.

Adherence to the salary rule - the basis for the competition's level playing field - should be a mantra at every club.

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But oh no, no, no, not in Aussie league.

NRL titles have been stripped, fines imposed, reputations ruined and yet the people who run Aussie league clubs carry on their merry cap-twisting ways.

The latest alleged breaches extending back to 2015 have been self-reported by the new boss at the Cronulla Sharks, a club whose title credentials have been steadily growing in recent weeks.

It's heartbreaking really, coming in the year that Manly were punished for historical breaches.

The claim is, of course of course, that all the clubs are now compliant. Given the game's history, a lot of us would take some convincing about that.

Instead of saluting the great Paul Gallen and his mates if the Sharks win the title, we can have a good old laugh at league's expense.

There used to be a certain charm around the classic Aussie league character, and there still could be.

But the days of sly rorts are over kiddies. Time to grow up.

Something very weird has happened to Aussie sport.

The nation which produced legendary and respected tennis icons such as Rod Laver, Yvonne Goolagong and Margaret Court now comes up with knuckleheads like Nick Kyrgios and Bernard "the Tanker" Tomic.

As for cricket, there has never been a sadder more pathetic episode in sport than the sandpaper scandal in South Africa, the nadir for a team which had spun out of control on anger and arrogance.

As for rugby...sophisticated, clever, that's how the best of Australian rugby used to be.

There were elegant leaders like John Eales and Rod Macqueen, and never-to-be-forgotten players such as David "Campo" Campese, Mark Ella, Stephen Larkham and many more.

The sum was often greater than the parts with the Aussies, and the Brumbies in their prime were a groundbreaking pleasure to behold.

What have we got now? Whinging Michael Cheika and a team which doesn't know what it is about.

You could throw in a lot of other stuff about Aussie sport, but I'm not here to turn the screws too tightly. Just saying...an awful lot has gone wrong over there.

Hey, if the once great Australian sports nation is determined to be a sporting laughing stock, it's a free world.

But as a league fan, I just wish they would sort that NRL out.