On the Road: Ankle woes and golden points
It may well have been a word used by ancient Latin groupies – and at the weekend it was all the rage in rugby league.
Syndesmosis is a kind of joint that holds bones together. 'Syn' means 'with', and 'desmos' means 'a band'. So if they'd had black t-shirts back in ancient Rome, our sport's favourite injury would have been a popular item for rock chicks in black sandals.
But for Michael Jennings, Josh Dugan, Lote Tuqiri and – in England – Danny Brough, syndesmosis injuries left them separated from their particular bands.
Jennings is out for at least six weeks after suffering his injury – we used to call them sprained ankles – in Penrith's 23-10 win over Gold Coast at Skilled Park on Saturday night.
That also ruled him out of the NSW team for Origin II next week – a side that will be missing fullback Dugan after he suffered a similar injury in Canberra's amazing 40-24 loss to North Queensland at Canberra Stadium on Sunday (the Raiders led 22-0 early).
And in his first game back from injury (just like Canberra's Terry Campese, who picked up a groin problem), Wests Tigers winger Lote Tuqiri also suffered an ankle injury in the 17-16 overtime Monday Night Football loss to Newcastle at Leichhardt Oval.
Whether he's "with the band" was uncertain at time of writing.
But the syndesmosis outbreak went global at the weekend. Having been scorned in some quarters for switching from Scotland to England, Huddersfield halfback Danny Brough was all set to take on the Exiles in Friday's International Origin match at Headingley.
That's until he suffered – yes, an ankle injury, in his side's 40-18 win over Castleford.
It was also a weekend of a) golden point games and b) lifting tackles.
Blues winger Akuila Uate is in doubt for Origin II after being booked for lifting rookie Tim Simona at Leichhardt. A similar tackle involving a group of Wests Tigers players was also placed on report.
After just one golden point game in the opening 12 weeks of the season, we had 90 minutes to separate Parramatta and St George Illawarra on Friday night but still ended up at 14-14.
"You must be still fresh after two years in France," Nathan Hindmarsh (71 tackles) said to Mark Gasnier when the hooter rang for the final time.
And it took an opportunist's field goal out of dummy half by Robbie Farah to sink the Knights.
There was little sign of syndesmosis, lifting tackles or extra time when Sydney Roosters beat the Warriors 13-6 and Melbourne downed South Sydney 16-6 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
But the Ancient Rome theme did apply to Manly's 38-4 win over Canterbury. The next day, Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore must have felt like Caesar being stabbed in the back when he read he would lose his job at the end of the year.
The night before, Panthers coach Matthew Elliott had spotted a scribbled label on besieged rival John Cartwright's seat in the Skilled Park press conference room. He found it amusing.
It read: 'I Am Spartacus'.