Chris Rattue looks into his crystal ball to see what the 2012 sporting landscape is likely to bring.
1 Shot put fever grips the nation
Valerie Adams is favoured to retain her Olympic title and teenager Jacko Gill is a rough medal chance. Yes, New Zealand could become the shot put capital of the world. If Adams can hold her form and enthusiasm for the 2016 Olympics when Gill should be much closer to his prime, a golden double will be on the cards in Rio de Janeiro. The remarkable Gill has already thrown well enough to contend for the top eight in London but admits his technique has fallen away of late and he is also dealing with a new level of media and public attention. Winning a medal at his age would be a stupendous achievement. Adams, the triple world champion, will secure gold in London after changes to her personal life, coaching support and technique.
2 The almost new All Blacks broom will sweep in with an overhaul that will include the rise of Beauden Barrett
The mop-topped junior star from Taranaki will nail down the No 10 spot in Mark Hammett's Hurricanes and form an exciting logjam with Aaron Cruden behind Dan Carter. Barrett, who can also play fullback, will emerge as the hot long-term test prospect.
3 Ricki Herbert gets the sack from a coaching job
Which would still leave him in charge of a couple of teams ... nothing moves in New Zealand footy without old Herbo wanting to coach it but the time is at hand for a change. Having one bloke coaching the country's national team, the only professional team and apparently the Olympic team is unhealthy for the game. New Zealand soccer needs more diversity and expansive thinking. The new owners of the fail-to-rise-any-further Phoenix will see the light.
4 The Warriors to win the NRL
Shaun Johnson will tear the NRL apart ... defenders already struggle to get a hand on him and he has more in the tank. Expect the Warriors forwards to amp up the aggression under new coach Brian McClennan, leaving Johnson to weave his hop-skip-and-jump magic. The pressure is on McClennan, for sure, but there will be a burst of vigour in the enthusiastic coach's initial NRL season. The planets are more than capable of aligning for an historic title run.
5 There will be a lot of Sonny Bill Williams media stories
SBW is a sure-fire ratings winner. "Sonny Bill Mows His Lawns" can trump world events. Will he move to Sydney? How is life in Hamilton? Is the uppercut working? These and many more questions are sure to be asked if not answered in the new year.
6 The Crusaders win the Super 15
Sorry Blues - you'll go close thanks to recruits Piri Weepu and Ma'a Nonu but there will be no cigar. Fatal flaws in the Blues' make-up run too deep. The old southern firm will swing back into action having gone so close while clocking up record air miles in 2011. The Crusaders love a home fortress and will be nigh-on unbeatable at their new tightly packed home in Addington. Queensland were superb in winning the title last year but they will struggle to repeat the feat now that other sides are alert to them.
7 Derek de Boorder nails down the New Zealand wicketkeeping job against South Africa
Every national cricket side needs an iconic wicketkeeper and de Boorder is a likely candidate, whereas incumbent Reece Young has stop-gap written all over him. The 26-year-old de Boorder is the best gloveman according to insiders and his batting is adaptable and on the rise. As a point of order: his surname might be misleading. De Boorder is a Kiwi and not another border-crossing South African cricketer. While he did flirt with playing for the Netherlands (an "associate" ICC team), he is Hastings-born and started with Auckland before switching to Otago.
8 An Australian team will win the transtasman netball league (again)
A banker for any list of sports predictions.
9 Lydia Ko wins a professional golf tournament
The North Harbour prodigy came awfully close in 2011 and at the ripe old age of 15 will be better placed to create a stunning world record as the youngest ever winner.
10 Hayden Paddon rallies further
The Geraldine speedster is poised to become our number one motor-racing star and should take major steps towards winning a drive in the World Rally Championship.