There is a tide in the affairs of man, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
So said the bard.
Equally, when the tide is taken at its ebb, and fortune flails and wallows in the mud of it's retreat, the great and the powerful are weakened and bewildered as they sit in their stranded craft, and the ever opportunistic wharf rats begin to climb on board and gnaw at their entrails.
And this, my dear friends in Rugby, is the current sad state of the great and powerful metropolitan clubs.
Players are jumping ship. Offers are being made to, and seriously being considered and accepted by, players who have sworn undying loyalty to the club they have previously played for for several years.
Even Force contracted players.
Sign on fees of five and ten thousand dollars are being offered by the frugal minnows of the competition as a matter of course to such players, to some even more, as well as cars, free accommodation, even plasma television sets. They haven't spent much in the past, but the opportunities for a premiership that are on offer because of the State's financial recession (or, to be honest, depression) are just too good and too many to resist.
And Europe is also beaconing many top flight players, the Waltons, the Hoskins, and others of their ilk and ability have taken the King of France's shilling, and more are following.
Not to mention the Force itself stitching up and cocooning for themselves whatever promising club talents, such as Ruru, as they can entice.
And the powerful, who have relied so long and so heavily on the munificence of their sponsors and the Force, have found that their sponsors' receivers have snapped shut the purses, and the Force .... well, the Force ... they have more important things to concentrate on, like survival, than to concern themselves with the problems of the darlings of metropolitan rugby.
Regrettably too, when you haven't had to actually work for your money, and yet it continues to roll in, you don't tend to save, relying on the gravy train rolling on forever, and when it eventually runs out of steam, you are left with nowhere to go and no ability to buy a ticket to get there.
We live in interesting times.