This week we'll mostly be concerning ourselves with all things World Cup.
That the back pages of most countries - the exceptions are Wales and New Zealand, Wales wholly understandably and New Zealand because of the referee this incident involves - are not full of headlines calling for official reviews over James Hook's allegedly missed penalty speaks volumes about both the Welsh team's determination to be introspective about their other missed chances and about the uncertainty over the validity of the 'penalty that never was'.
There are a couple of points worth making: Wayne Barnes apparently told Hook that he was not allowed to refer the decision to the TMO. This is wrong. Law 6.A.6 (b) includes the following sentence: "The official (TMO) may be consulted in relation to the success or otherwise of kicks at goal."
It does seem odd that Barnes did not know this though - and it's also worth asking: why refer it when all three officials were in agreement the kick was not successful?
Secondly, we looked hard, but could find no defining text to explain what happens should a ball go over an upright. In the era of kickers who can goal from 60m and balls that fly and fly, is this not something that needs to be addressed?
While on the subject of balls, there's been more and more mutterings over the weekend from observers about the new Gilbert Virtuo ball which has been drawing mixed results from the kicking tee - most notably giving Jonny Wilkinson his worst-ever kicking performance.
The ball's been available since June to the teams, who were each also given 30 on their arrival to train with, so it's not for the want of familiarity.
The ball has also been available to the rest of the rugby world since June, so a few questions asked around some clubs have revealed that most players feel the same: the ball passes better from the hand but exacerbates even the slightest of errors on the kick.
It not only has a smaller sweet spot, but should you hit the outer ring of the bullseye, as it were, you run a far greater chance of having the flight of the ball subsequently deviating significantly more than the usual Gilbert balls.
So the IRB has approved and introduced a ball that passes better but kicks worse. Will they stop at nothing to ensure we get more tries?
A handy coincidence in the USA this week, with NFL and the Rugby World Cup kicking off at the same time - although the rugby was buried in the late late hours of Saturday night: 2am Sunday in New York and 11pm Saturday in Los Angeles.
But then after a quirky little feature from the BBC comparing the two sports earlier in the week, NFL drum-beaters might have felt a little relieved that rugby's value for money was not given greater exposure.
The feature revealed that the average NFL player outweighs the average rugby player by 50 pounds (that's a shade under 23 kg) and the strongest can supposedly bench press some 50 per cent of rugby's strongest.
But rugby's fastest (Bryan Habana? Still?) is still said to be 0.2 sec quicker over 100m, and here's the fun bit: rugby players run nearly 23 times as far as NFL players during the average match, racking up 4.35 miles on average to the NFL's 0.19.
Not bad value that, particularly when you take into account that rugby's best-paid (without endorsements) is paid some 32 times less...
What price a minnow victory at this World Cup? Not one team has yet broken 50 points, in a round that included perceived mismatches such as France v Japan, New Zealand v Tonga, Fiji v Namibia and Scotland v Romania.
Japan had France on the ropes at one point before the soft fourth try steadied the ship, while Scotland found Romania's physicality almost too much of a challenge. Neither Namibia nor Tonga subsided under the pressure as they have in World Cups past against their illustrious opposition.
Scotland, who face the even more physical Georgia on Wednesday, are now favourites to come a cropper while we await the Wales-Samoa clash with interest. Further down the radar, we're betting the Italy-USA clash might be closer than expected too, given the Americans' game display against Ireland.
Back to generalities though: the technical and tactical proficiency and the fitness of the lesser-known/lauded teams has been nothing short of fantastic to behold.
You will find this column occasionally moaning about the large numbers of imports to Europe's domestic leagues, which from the usual standpoint of growing local talents for the home nations is a little shameless at times, but for the next seven weeks we can also sit back and enjoy the reaped benefits of the cross-pollination to players and coaches of their stints abroad. This World Cup is already proving that the gap, finally, is narrowing between the best and the rest.
While you expect the top league clubs and provinces of various countries to be caught a little short by the absence of all their elite during a World Cup, spare a thought for the little guys as well.
Nottingham, of England's Championship, are labouring into the new season shorn of no fewer than four of their best (a Tongan, two Americans and a Japanese), while the Villager club in Cape Town, competing in the provincial league below Currie Cup, are also without four, including two props, handed over to Namibia.
Neither side has been exactly left in a winning position, but it's a little window onto the fact that players come from far and wide to play their rugby in as good a developmental climate as possible and that - having received emails from both clubs in question speaking of their pride - it means a heck of a lot for a smaller club to have players at the World Cup.
Loose Pass compiled by Richard Anderson