What a weekend of wall-to-wall sport! There was so much happening that one didn't know where to look for much of the time. And as happens in sport, there were cheers and there were tears.
The Warriors' first NRL title will have to wait. To be fair, as the Mad Butcher says, the bounce of the ball just didn't go their way, and though they were gallant in defeat, there's no second prize in a gunfight. They had chances early in the match, but in a Grand Final chances aren't good enough; every chance has to be converted into points. Conceding a try on the stroke of half-time was a crucial blow as well.
There was some compensation for the Warriors organistation with the Juniors winning their Grand Final; a 31-30 golden point win. That's back-to-back titles for the young fellas; a great effort. Sadly, the Aucklnad Vulcans were beaten 30-28 by a last-gasp Bulldogs try. Still, it was great to see all three Warriors sides playing of the NRL's Big Day.
40 RWC matches have been played, and we are in to the games that really matter now. The All Blacks will play Argentina on Sunday, and if they win that match, they will play the winners of the Australia vs South Africa quarter-final; that match should be an absolute bruiser of a contest, and with both sides already with injury worries, nothing can be taken for granted. On the other side of the draw England plays France, and Ireland plays Wales. On current form, we can see Ireland going all the way to their first-ever RWC final.
We'll comment on the All Blacks' match against Canada later, and on the loss of Daniel Carter to injury. In other matches of note Tonga played like men possessed to beat France, England had a narrow escape against the men from north of the border, Australia lost its way against Russia, and Ireland had too much class for Italy. Those were matches that we saw some of, so those are the ones we can comment on.
And last, but by no means least, the might Butcher Boys of Wanganui will play in their sixth consecutive Meads Cup final in Wanganui on Saturday. Wanganui beat Mid Canterbury 32-22, whilst East Coast upset North Otago (to Ele for Homepaddock's consternation), and the Ngati Porou faithful will hikoi to Wanganui next weekend. Rugby is alive and well in the heartlands.
That's our take on the weekend's action; feel free to have your say ...