Yes; it's the 1st of July; halfway through 2011; where has the year gone? Winter has finally arrived as well, about a month late, and the skifields on Mt Ruapehu are open for business just a couple of weeks late.
But it's rugby that will dominate the sporting weekend; it's play-offs time in Super Rugby with two New Zealand teams and one each from Australia and South Africa remaining. Both matches take place in the dark of night tomorrow, so MySky will again be appreciated!
First-up it's the Blues taking on the Reds in Brisbane. The Queenslanders will go into the match as favourites, but the Blues are capable of causing an upset. It will take an eighty-minute effort from the Blues though, and that has been their Achillies heel in 2011. At their best, they are as good as any side in the competition, but they have a habit of switching off. But if the Blues forwards can step up, especially the likes of Keven Mealamu, Ali Williams and Jerome Kaino, they could really stretch the Queenslanders. The head though would suggest a home win.
The Crusaders have already beaten the Stormers at Newlands this season, and that will be in the forefront of both teams' collective consciousnesses. On that occasions the Crusaders forwards were dominant, and they will have to be dominant again tomorrow night to have any chance of a repeat. But with Richie McCaw back, and with Daniel Carter due for a big game, we're going for the red and blacks to win by a narrow margin. A finals rematch with the Reds (minus Stu Dickinson) would be a deserved end to the season for the nomadic Crusaders.
The Warriors have a bye this weekend. Thank goodness. 'Nuff said.
Elsewhere, we'll keep our fingers crossed for Marina Erakovic and her Thai doubles partner tonight in the semi-finals at Wimbeldon. It's been a gutsy fightback for Erakovic, whose career looked done and dusted a year ago. Now she stands to earn the biggest paycheck of her professional career, and to make a Wimbledon final. The women's Black Sticks had a setback overnight with a 5-3 loss to Korea, but they will finish the Champions Trophy no worse than fourth which is a fantatstic achievement. The ambitions of the U-17 All Whites to make the last eight at their World Cup were blown off the park by Japan yesterday, but they can still take pride from a tremendous performance in making the sudden-death round.
That's all we can think of this morning. Please feel free to fill in any gaps that we've left; the floor is, as ever, yours...