How did Wales lose that one?

Sport is so often decided by small margins and it was no different in the first semi final at the rugby union World Cup as Wales went down 9-8.

The debate continues as to whether Welsh skipper Sam Warburton deserved to be sent off for ‘a dangerous tip tackle’ on Vincent Clerc after 18 minutes.

The fact that Wales will not contest his subsequent three-week suspension may or may not tell the story on that one.

Wales battled manfully to push the French all the way before eventually falling short by the final whistle.

A couple of things jumped out at me from the game.

Firstly - and this is an old favourite of mine - how on earth can the side that scores the only try lose the game.

I know how it happens as far as point-scoring is concerned, so you can hold off on that particular e-mail.

What I want to know is why it is allowed to happen?

There is no way it can be right.

The second thing that struck me was how Wales managed to miss so many chances to nudge themselves ahead.

James Hook missed kicks at goal before Mike Phillips scored the only try of the game.

Stephen Jones failed with the conversion and Leigh Halfpenny was short from halfway and they missed a couple of drop goal attempts too.

How ironic that in a game known to man as ‘kick and clap’ the only thing Wales appear to be able to do proficiently is clap.

On a related topic, what about Joel Tomkins’ proposed switch from Wigan Warriors to Saracens?

His contract with the rugby union side will make him one of the wealthiest people ever to come out of Chorley and he is right to look after himself financially.

But what about rugby league?

Times are hard and there are strict-ish regulations regarding the salary cap which will make it difficult for clubs in the north to hold onto their biggest assets.

Rugby union clubs in England are also struggling with the size of the cap in France allowing clubs across the channel to offer even bigger contracts.

With Clint Newton returning to the NRL from Hull KR with the warning that rugby league in this country has to improve to prevent its players following him to the southern hemisphere, you know that the 13-a-side code has some major issues to address.

How serious a threat to Manchester United are Manchester City?

City are top of the Premier League but the sides meet at Old Trafford this weekend in one of the most eagerly anticipated derbies of recent times.

There is of course a week of Champions League games to come before the sides meet on Sunday.

But I cannot imagine Fergie leaving Hernandez, Nani and Rooney on the bench for this one.