This year's Rugby World Cup is nearly five weeks old. We've seen 40 matches played thus far—a number of which will be etched in our minds for quite a while.
Sadly we've now said goodbye to 16 teams, our streets void of the colour these fans brought to our world. Rugby fans across the country are already missing the midweek dosages of our favourite game. But the good news is we're into the quarterfinal stages. There's the huge prospect of four great games to be played this weekend.
Oddly the standings from pool play has resulted in a neat separation of teams into Northern and Southern Hemisphere groupings. The draw ensures that a team from both halves of the world will make it to the grand final (to be played on 23 October).
The draw is as follows:
Ireland vs Wales
England vs France
============ Equator ============
South Africa vs Australia
New Zealand vs Argentina
Q. What do you get when you mix the Irish, Welsh, South African and Australians in New Zealand's capital city of Wellington?
A. One heck of a weekend. Does anyone know a superlative for party?
Wellington is fabled for the social atmosphere their stadium produces and the warmth of its bars following a game. In many respects it plays hosts to the two better quarterfinals.
Big events normally usher in dreadful weather in Wellington, whereas in Auckland big events normally mean dreadful traffic.
So besides wet and windy conditions in Wellington and train breakdowns in Auckland, what are the things to look out for during the quarterfinals? Here's some sardonic pointers for the weekend's action...