Rugby dominates the landscape this weekend; as far as we are concerned anyway. The two Super 14 matches tonight are effectively quarter-finals - win tonight, and you're in the play-offs; lose, and the season ends.
The Crusaders look the more likely of the two New Zealand sides playing tonight. But for an absence of love from Marius Jonker in the last five minutes last weekend, they might have sneaked past the Bulls, and into a position of strength. At home tonight, and with a big crowd expected (well over 20,000 tickets sold already), we reckon they'll be too good for the Brumbies.
Likewise, the Waratahs have home advantage over the Hurricanes, although there'll be plenty of Kiwis in the SFS crowd. We've been impressed with the Hurricanes in the last few weeks; they haven't been beaten since March, and look a much stronger defensive team this year. To come from 21-8 down after 25 minutes and beat the Reds 44-21 was a very creditable performance. They'll be much better tomorrow night too with Conrad Smith running things. Cruden has played his best footy this year when Smith has been outside him.
If the Hurricanes lose tomorrow night, they will look back on the game in Bloemfontein as one that got away. It was possibly their worst performance over the last couple of the seasons, and all the early momentum from three wins disappeared. They CAN beat the Waratahs tonight, but it will take a total team effort. At least they are three hours closer to South Africa than the Crusaders, because that's where the semi-finals will be.
So that's our thoughts on tonight's games - what do YOU reckon?