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WGM’s weekend preview

Written by Ben Blaschke

It’s a quiet time for some of the world’s most popular sports at the moment. The big European football leagues don’t kick off for another few weeks, the NBA season is still a few months off, the world’s top tennis stars are still taking it slow following Wimbledon and the world’s snooker elite aren’t doing a whole lot either ahead of August’s Shanghai Masters.

But that’s not to say there is nothing for us sports fans to watch this weekend. Let’s start with the final of the Super Rugby competition which sees the NSW Waratahs host the decider for the first time against the Canterbury Crusaders in Sydney on Saturday night. Although the Waratahs are slight favorites with the bookmakers, they couldn’t have asked for a tougher assignment as they look to win their first Super Rugby title – New Zealand’s Crusaders have lifted the trophy a record eight times and have twice beaten NSW in the decider, however we’re going to stick with the Waratahs here. They’ve been the best side all year and provided they don’t choke their blistering attack should see them home.

Woods wins last year's Bridgestone International

Woods wins last year’s Bridgestone International

There will be plenty of interest in the prestigious Bridgestone International in Ohio this week with the best of the best gathering to fight for a first prize of over US$1.5 million. Firestone Country Club has been the plaything of Tiger Woods over the years. He has won here on eight separate occasions and dominated the field 12 months ago to prevail by seven strokes. However, questions remain over his fitness following a long layoff with back problems and there is no shortage of in-form contenders vying to steal his crown including British Open champion Rory McIlroy and world number one Adam Scott. And how are these for some opening day pairings – McIlroy tees off alongside Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia will be spending time together, Woods is alongside US Open champ Martin Kaymer and Scott partners Bubba Watson! For our money though, keep an eye on the pairing of Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler who we think are both great chances of a high finish.

Spanish maestro Marc Marquez will be gunning for his 10th win from 10 MotoGP races in 2014 when he lines up for the Indianapolis GP on Sunday. Marquez has won all nine races so far this season in an incredible display of riding and is looking to become just the fifth rider in top class history to win 10 races in a row.

And the race for top spot at the Commonwealth Games is on as the countdown to Sunday’s closing ceremony begins. Thanks largely to their dominance in the pool, Australia currently leads the medal tally with 34 gold – one clear of main rival England – and we’re looking forward to seeing who will finish on top in the coming days. Events still to be decided include cycling, netball, hockey squash and badminton!

Good luck and good punting.