One of the bigger sporting weekends for some time is upon us. The NRL is into the play-offs, the ITM Cup is heating up, there's another Ranfurly Shield match, and the Tri-Nations concludes.
First up the NRL. It's a huge match tonight for the Vodafone Warriors when they play the Titans in week one of the play-offs. Heading into the post-season in fifth, it's not quite do-or-die time; two of the teams below them would have to beat higher-ranked opponents and the Warriors lose for them to be eliminated in week one under the convoluted McIntyre system. On the other hand, a win to the Warriors would give them a home match in week two, and that's what we're tipping.
We're off the Wellington tomorrow to watch the Phoenix take on Sydney FC. This is shaping as a huge match for the 'Nix. They've lost a bit of momentum on the road after a promising start to the season, there's the "unbeaten at home" run to defend, and there's the small matter of the Hand of Payne in the A-League finals last year. Doubtless Yellow Fever will not have forgotten that moment of infamy. We're meeting up with James Stephenson and young son for a pre-match lubricant, so we should be in fine voice by kick-off!
That means, of course, that we won't see the All Blacks play Australia, although we have planned our return trip so that we will be in our car by kick-off! We'll preview the match in the morning, but we like the look of the All Black team that has been selected, and wonder if Henry Inc have a weather's eye on 2011 in the mix they have selected. It should be a cracking match.
But the BIG rugby match this weekend takes place right here in little ole W(h)anganui, where Chester Borrows' Parliamentary XV takes on Michael Laws' Mayoral XV in the curtainraiser at Cooks Gardens. We reckon that the pollies will be queueing up to deal to Laws at the bottom of the rucks; he may have been imprudent to even hint at a Lazarus-like comeback!
That's it from us; what say you?