Hākinakina - Weekend sports preview - May 17

By Jamie Wall

NRL

Warriors v Panthers, 8 pm tonight, Panthers Stadium

Issac Luke gets a reprieve for the Warriors tonight in Penrith, he’s back in the team after Nathaniel Roache was withdrawn after suffering an injury in training last week. Last night the Storm came from behind to beat the Tigers in Melbourne, which temporarily puts them back on top of the NRL ladder.

Key Storyline: The Warriors have not managed to win two games in a row this season, and they won’t get a better chance tonight against a Panthers side at rock bottom. If they can’t put this lot away, you’d have to think their impressive win last weekend against the Dragons was yet another false dawn.

Will it be sweet or stink? It’s probably fair to say the Warriors will adopt a pretty conservative gameplan against the Panthers, just to win the game and get out of there. However, if they can get on a roll they may well open up in the second half. Prediction: Warriors by 12

Elsewhere in the NRL, the Broncos play the Roosters, the Titans play the Bulldogs, the Cowboys play the Eels, the Raiders play the Rabbitohs, the Dragons play the Knights, and the Sharks play the Sea Eagles.

Super Rugby

Hurricanes v Jaguares, 7:35 pm tonight, Westpac Stadium

It’s round 14 in Super Rugby, and once again the Canes kick us off on Friday night.

Key storyline: Beauden Barrett is sitting this one out for the Canes, and they have been quite a different side this season without the All Black first five there. His spot is taken by the dependable James Marshall, though.

Will it be sweet or stink? Again, this is a game the home side just want to get over with and move on, but it’s going to be a pretty tricky assignment. The Jags are at full strength, which basically means they’re the full Argentine national side. Prediction: This isn’t going to be easy, but the Canes by 6

Blues v Chiefs, 7:35 pm Saturday, Eden Park

Key storyline: These two teams flat out DO NOT LIKE each other. The rivalry between the two neighbouring franchises boiled over into violence the last time they met in Hamilton, which ended up being a highly entertaining game. Hopefully, we get to see some more passionate footy tomorrow night.

Will it be sweet or stink? This will be one sweet game, you’d think. Both teams are desperate to stay off the bottom of the NZ Conference, so it should be the game of the round. Prediction: Chiefs by 1

Lions v Highlanders, 1:05 am Sunday, Ellis Park

Key storyline: Here are two sides with absolutely nothing to lose – the Highlanders need to score big to keep chasing the NZ Conference leaders, while the Lions are desperate. Waisake Naholo is also making a surprise return for the Highlanders after a serious injury last month.

Will it be sweet or stink? If you are rolling in from town at 1am Sunday, this may well be worth checking out before you crash. There should be a fair few tries from two exciting teams. Prediction: Lions by 5

Stormers v Crusaders, 3:15 am Sunday, Newlands Stadium

Key storyline: So here’s where things could go a little astray for the Crusaders. The Stormers do have the capacity to sneak a win here if they get on a roll, and if they do that could cut the Crusaders’ lead at the head of the NZ Conference and give the Canes a chance at home finals advantage.

Will it be sweet or stink? The Crusaders were great to watch last week, but the Stormers have been pretty bland all year with their commitment to forward play. A real style clash, so it depends on who gets the upper hand. Prediction: Crusaders by 10

ANZ Netball Premiership

Only one game on this weekend, with the Tactix hosting the Magic in Christchurch. It will be the last game for both sides in 2019, with both missing the elimination playoff final. The Steel and the Stars have already locked that one up, with the Pulse awaiting them in the final on June 3.