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Brumbies vs Hurricanes
Super Rugby, 21 July, 2017
|Fulltime - Brumbies 16, Hurricanes 35|
|Referee: Glen Jackson|
|Touch judges: Nic Berry & Will Houston|
|TMO: Ian Smith|
The Hurricanes have qualified for the Super Rugby semi-finals, taking a 19-point victory over the Brumbies.
Despite hosting the quarter-final in Canberra, the Brumbies go into their clash with the Hurricanes as rank outsiders. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage, starting from 7:35pm (AEST).
In what has collectively been the worst season by Australian Super Rugby teams, the Brumbies face an uphill battle. So far in 2017, Australian teams have failed in every encounter against New Zealand sides ‒ the ledger sits alarmingly at zero from 25 attempts.
It would take a perfect storm (and a whole lot of luck) for the Brumbies to trouble the Hurricanes, who knocked off the erstwhile undefeated Crusaders last week.
The good news for Brumbies fans is that Christian Lealiifano makes his long awaited return via the bench. Whether or not the move is borne out of desperation, it’s sure to give supporters and teammates a lift.
There are big changes to the starting 15 too, with ten alterations from the last round. No doubt it’s a welcome sight for Canberrans to see Chris Alcock, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Joe Powell, and captain Sam Carter restored to the starting line-up.
Last time these sides met, the Brumbies were on the end of a 56-21 thumping in Wellington.
“We were up 21-14 at halftime and we were playing some really good footy,” said Carter this week. “But we didn’t play at the right end of the field and gave them too many opportunities.
“We’ve got to play smart football and play to our strength ‒ which is the set piece and being smart around the breakdown.”
For the visitors, Beauden Barrett is back at ten after overcoming the sinus infection that ruled him out last week. Kicking duties will stay with his brother Jordie, however who retains the No.13 jersey in place of the injured Vince Aso.
The younger Barrett was on fire with the boot against the Crusaders and coach Chris Boyd would be a brave man to mess with that kind of form.
Despite a strengthened Brumbies squad with home ground advantage, the Hurricanes are too strong to go down here. You can bet the locals will be up for the fight, but good luck trying to contain a backline of the Barrett’s, Savea, Laumape, and Milner-Skudder for 80 minutes.
Hurricanes by 15.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the Super Rugby quarter-final, starting from 7:35pm (AEST).