Hey, hey; it's Friday. HB Proud is in the midst of university exams, so you'll have less to read this week, but hopefully plenty to comment on.
Rugby is the sport of the week. We'll preview the All Black match in Honkers tomorrow, but we're really looking forward to it. Both sides are at full strength, and it should be an excellent match. First-up though, there are the semi-finals of the ITM Cup over the next two evenings. We're picking an upset tonight in Christchurch. Canterbury looked lethargic last week against Waikato, whilst Wellington has run into form at the right time of the season. A month ago, there was the prospect that Wellington might even finish outside the top seven, but the team has finished the season strongly.
And tomorrow night, we'll tip Waikato to upset Auckland. The Waikato forwards ripped in to the Cantabs last week, and they like nothing more than smashing Aucklanders! If Waikato can control the ball as they did last week, the Mooloos will get up tomorrow night.
But the match of the weekend isn't any of those three. Tomorrow afternoon, the mighty Butcher Boys from Wanganui line up against North Otago seeking a third consecutive Meads Cup title. Although they haven't quite hit the heights of the last two seasons, we have every confidence that the Wanganui lads will do enough to see off the Oamaru pretenders tomorrow. Ele from Homepaddock is likely to have a different view, of course!
What else is ahppening this weekend? With all the palaver over The Hobbit, and with catching up after a weekend away and a short week, we must confess that haven't paid much attention to sport. The Kiwis should thrash Papua New Guinea in Rotorua, and the clash between the Brits and the Ockers is always fiery. The big match in the Four Nations is next week, at the revamped Eden Park. And the Breakers have made the best possible start to the Aussie NBL with a 3 and 0 record putting them at the top of the table.
Now, what have we forgotten? Ah yes, the World Rowing Championships. Whoever organised this event in mid-spring in New Zealand was taking a big punt, but it looks as though the weather will cooperate; the forecast is for settled weather for most of the next week. There should be some rich pickings for the New Zealand rowers on their home waters; we wish all the competitors the very best for a great week of rowing.
That's it from us today; it's time for you to tell us what YOU think!