There's a decidedly wintery feel in the air this morning, and now that we're into June, winter might finally be approaching The last long weekend for a long time beckons, the weather forecast is not encouraging; it must be Queen's Birthday weekend!
The Super Rugby competition is getting towards the sharp end of the season; just three rounds remain. The Crusaders have a week off this week, which is why SBW is going beneficiary-bashing on Sunday. The Highlanders start the weekend action, and should knock off the Force, even if the Highlanders won't look like Highlanders in their new attire. The new jerseys have been the talk of the town this week, and courtesy of Ele at Homepaddock, here's a sneak peak:
We hear that David Bain's lawyers are already preparing a bid for compensation for a breach of intellectual property rights! Seriously though, we wonder what the Highlanders board is thinking. All will be revealed at 7.30pm tonight.
In other matches the Hurricanes' horror season is one match closer to ending; the main interest will be the form of the team's All Blacks. The big local derby of the weekend is the Blues vs Chiefs match at Eden Park tomorrow night, which should be an absolute cracker. For many years Auckland versus Waikato was a traditional feature of Queen's Birthday Monday, so in some ways this match is a step back in time. If the Blues are to hold on to their place at the top of the New Zealand conference, they will have to be at their absolute best to beat a Chiefs side which has improved as the season has gone on.
There's a full round of NRL games this weekend. The Warriors, fresh from a much-needed week off head to Sydney to play the Roosters tomorrow night. The talking point of this match is the NRL debut of Sean Johnson, another of the young stars unearthed by the Warriors' junior team. We're picking the Warriors to extend their unbeaten run to six matches.
The All Whites got a dose of Montezuma's Revenge in Colorado yesterday, completely outplayed by Mexico. They now face Australia at Adelaide on Sunday, and Ricky Herbert's first priority will be to find some fit defenders. Sadly, we can't be optimistic about a strong performance by the All Whites this weekend; the depth of Herbert's squad will be more than fully tested.
What else? The French Open is reaching the money rounds, and the semi-final showdown between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer should be a terrific match. We'll go as far as to suggest that the winner of that semi-final will win the tournament. The PGA Tour, still Tigerless, is at Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Village course for the Memorial Tournament, the last big event before the US Open in two weeks time. And LeBron James has led the Miami Heat to a win in game one of the NBL finals. Game two tips off this afternoon, and as bad luck would have it., we'll be working from home!
That's it from us; the floor is yours!