Otago is coming for Hawke's Bay, coach Ben Herring says, and he believes the Magpies are vulnerable.
Otago has lost the Ranfurly Shield but is still using its experience with the log o' wood for the crunch part of the season.
The blue and golds - both the men's and women's sides - have plenty of incentive to win this weekend.
Waisake Naholo is off to play overseas. It would be fair to say he left with a whimper rather than a bang. Rugby writer Steve Hepburn wonders where and how it all went wrong over the past 12 months...
In the end, the marriage which started in 1996 could not be broken. In fact, neither party opened the door to any other suitor.
Otago coach Ben Herring is putting his side on the front foot and says he is confident it can go to Hawke's Bay next weekend and do the business.
In its own way, World Rugby has combined complete nonsense, ground-breaking technology and blatant doctoring at its marquee tournament in Japan, ODT sports editor Steve Hepburn writes.
Otago has made plenty of changes as it looks ahead but there is one intriguing selection in its side to take on Northland tomorrow.
Departing Southland coach Dave Hewett believes Southland has turned the corner but everyone has to go in the right direction if the union is to progress.
North Otago ventures to Ruatoria to take on East Coast tomorrow in a vital match for the visiting team.
Canterbury fullback Josh McKay is making a real play to fill the shoes of the Highlanders co-captain.
Southland will close the book on its 2019 season tonight but coach Dave Hewett thinks plenty of positives have come out of it.
The bat and oval ball are coming together in a session at the end of the month as the two codes look at challenges facing their games at a club level.