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Hurricanes vs Reds
Super Rugby, 18 May, 2018
|Fulltime - Hurricanes 38, Reds 34|
|Referee: Ben O'keeffe|
|Touch judges: James Doleman & Richard Kelly|
|TMO: Glenn Newman|
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The Hurricanes can temporarily take first spot in the New Zealand conference when they take on the struggling Reds in what is likely to be a cold and wet Wellington. Join The Roar for live scores from 5:35pm (AEST).
The ‘Canes have been superb throughout the Super Rugby season, sitting just a point behind the ladder-leading Crusaders.
Of course, most of the New Zealand teams look like they are going to secure a wildcard spot to the finals series whether they win the New Zealand conference or not, but the confidence boost of finishing first and having guaranteed home finals all the way through would be a major advantage.
The Wellington-based outfit have won nine of their ten games for the season, with their only loss coming all the way back in the opening game of the season away from home to the Bulls.
Since then, they have destroyed everyone in their path, with only less games played leaving them behind the Crusaders.
Interestingly enough, they have just been consistent. The ‘Canes haven’t gone out and absolutely belted many teams, but they are finding ways to win comfortably more often than not, piling up an impressive points differential of 152.
The Hurricanes will also be out to improve New Zealand Super Rugby teams record over Australian teams to a staggering 40 straight victories.
Where the Hurricanes have been dominating everyone in their path, it’s been a very different set of circumstances for the Queensland-based outfit.
The Reds were looking good at one point, having won three of their first four games, but the wheels have fallen off since. They have won just one of their last six, with that victory coming against the top-ranked South African team – the Lions – a fortnight ago at Suncorp Stadium.
While that game gave fans a course for hope – that maybe their side had turned things around – it was crushed last weekend with a trip to Japan ending in disaster as the lowly Sunwolves recorded their first win of the season – a 63-28 thumping.
There have been issues present with the Reds defence all year and if they can’t address it ahead of their trip to Wellington, the Hurricanes could run a number up.
There is a stark contrast in form between the two teams and Australia’s run against New Zealand Super Rugby teams is horrendous. It could get ugly, but the Reds got belted last week and should at least put some pride in the jersey and defending their own line this time.
Hurricanes by 15.
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