It's Friday again, and whilst a pall has been cast across the sporting landscape, life and sport goes on, and another busy weekend beckons.
Obviously (for us anyway) the All Blacks test match against Australia in Brisbane tomorrow night is the highlight of the weekend. As usual, we'll do a preview tomorrow, but it should be a fantastic match between arguably the two best teams in world rugby.
And it's hard to believe that after all the hype, the Rugby World Cup is just two weeks away. That means of course that domestic rugby's showpiece, the ITM Cup must come to an end. The last round-robin round starts tonight, followed by the catch-up match on Tuesday between Manawatu and Otago, cancelled last week because of the snow closing Dunedin airport. Manawatu has already sown up a place in the Championship final where they will probably meet Hawke's Bay. The Magpies play in the game of the weekend when they challenge Taranaki for the Ranfurly Shield on Sunday. If we weren't playing in a golf tournament, we'd head to New Plymouth on Sunday. Tomorrow, there are "traditional" matches to look forward to; Auckland vs Waikato, and Canterbury vs Otago. At this point, we'd lean towards a Canterbury versus Waikato final in Christchurch, which would be some small comfort to the rugby folk of Christchurch, denied involvement with RWC.
The Warriors' chances of a top-four placing and a home semi-final are entirely in their own hands. If they can beat St George at Illawarra on Sunday, then beat North Queensland at home next week, they will finish the regular season in fourth, which will probably earn them a match-up with Wests Tigers.
There's plenty more happening this weekend, but time is short if the GST is to get paid today! Feel free to fill in the gaps; the floor is yours!
PS: Did anyone follow our tip last week, and put a lazy tenner on Manawatu to upset Waikato? No? No; nor dd we!