The Silver Lake saga has had a bit of everything so far (well, except for actual detail), so what better way to sign off the week that was than with a full-blown tantrum.
"We are shocked and disappointed that Rob Nichol has shared another counter-proposal with media before sharing it with New Zealand Rugby, as we have not had sufficient time to digest or understand what has been proposed or comment on the detail," said New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson upon learning that there might be another way of raising capital beyond selling a chunk of the national game to an American equity fund.
By Monday night he had changed his tack and tune somewhat, reportedly writing a letter to players' association and Forsyth Barr chairman David Kirk to facilitate more dialogue. It was a far cry from his mood on Friday, when he continued:
"Through doing this, the NZRPA leadership has unilaterally taken a decision to attempt to destroy the Silver Lake deal – and the incredible financial and capability outcomes it would provide for all of rugby, as acknowledged by the unanimous vote of our provincial unions and Māori Rugby Board, as well as the independent validation of the deal by PWC and global investment bank Jefferies."
NZR's desperation to hide behind their 26 unions has been, at best, unbecoming. They're irrelevant, with all but a couple lacking anything approximating the ability to perform due diligence on the proposal.
The way to think about the unions is to imagine them as 26 pigeons hovering about a park bench. The pigeons don't care if the person on the seat eating the sandwich is Jeffrey Dahmer or Mother Teresa, they're going to feast on the crumbs regardless.
Robinson and the NZR board have suddenly lost control of the PR game.
It was all well and good when chairman and media veteran Brent Impey was planting a bit of information here and an effective soundbite there – to paraphrase: this will save the clubs and the provinces; the players just want more money – safe in the knowledge that players' association boss Nichol's more verbose offerings were failing to stick.
Robinson and Impey now have to convince the public that they care more about rugby than double World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw; than World Cup-winning captain David Kirk; than 94-test legend Conrad Smith. Sending out the Northland chairman – the other Ritchie – to do your heavy lifting is not going to cut it.
NZR could paint the Forsyth Barr option as a conflicted, half-cooked idea, yet it was the Silver Lake deal that got a roasting from influential investment guru Brian Gaynor.
In a column for BusinessDesk, he wrote: "[Impey's] non-disclosure of important details of the Silver Lake deal has been a major disappointment.
"Impey has adopted the highly emotional 'trust me, I know what I'm doing' approach and released almost no substantive information to the public.
"He argues that private equity firm Silver Lake won't be taking control of New Zealand Rugby but, ironically, his secrecy is consistent with the private equity sector and suggests that the US private equity firm may already be having an influence on our national game."
It's certainly having an influence on the mood of the NZR boardroom and executive, and it reeks of desperation; of trying to fast-track a deal before anybody wakes up to what could be lost forever.
You suspect this is what worries the likes of McCaw, who apart from playing fast and loose with the offside line, has never courted controversy.
He played in a team where the idea that you never owned the jersey but were merely guardians of it was doctrine; the idea that selling off 12.5 per cent of that jersey has given him pause for thought.
That would be a good starting point for the next phase of this saga: pausing for thought.
It might be that the Silver Lake sandwich is the best you're going to get.
If that is the case, NZR needs to do a much better job of calmly selling it to the players and the public – not the pigeons.
As a strategy for putting pressure on the selectors, going to England early, opening the batting for your county while facing the Dukes ball in bowler-friendly conditions, and squeezing out a couple of centuries is quite good thinking.
Youngish Young is probably still on the outside looking in when it comes to the Black Caps' strongest test XI, but he's making sure he's noticed.
You can care not a jot about Liverpool's push to salvage something from a horror season by qualifying for the Champions League but still revel in the glory of a goalkeeper scoring the winning goal in the last minute of a match.
There were a couple of remarkable things about Alisson's goal, not least the fact that it was a bona fide brilliant header into the top corner, not a penalty or a fluked clearance that evades everybody.
The icing came when the commentator almost immediately came up with "Alisson wonderland". Well played sir.
So desperate are we for anything suggesting a contest that we'll happily write off a couple of close losses as moral victories.
All cynicism aside, the Brumbies were pretty bloody good against a possibly hungover Crusaders side.
In Perth, the probably hungover Chiefs were dreadful which, by definition, means the Force were too.
Elsewhere the Reds were horrible, the Rebels were abysmal and the Waratahs were… not sure how you'd even start to classify that nonsense in Sydney.
SRTT needs a couple of wins quick smart. The Brumbies at the Chiefs on Saturday appeals as the most likely duck-breaker.
In normal circumstances, this would be filed under Leicester in the Winners section, but I know a couple of Chelsea fans who are regular readers of this pabulum, so this is for them.
This is a truly bonkers story of a T20 franchise league that wasn't. From the Guardian.
Tom Verducci is still hitting home runs for the sad shadow that is SI.com. This is the story about one of the most abused jobs in sport – the relief pitcher.