“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” Dickens once said. Such is the stark contrast between two cities and their respective rugby teams, tribalism, the Auckland Blues versus the Canterbury Crusaders.
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Hurricanes vs Blues
Super Rugby, 7 July, 2018
|Fulltime - Hurricanes 42, Blues 24|
|Referee: Ben O'keeffe|
|Touch judges: Michael Fraser & Jamie Nutbrown|
|TMO: Aaron Paterson|
The Hurricanes have strengthened their position in the New Zealand conference once again with an 18-point win over the Blues.
The Hurricanes will be out to all but lock in a home quarter-final when they take on the Blues in Wellington during Round 18. Join The Roar for live scores from 5:35pm (AEST).
The Wellington-based outfit won’t catch the Crusaders to win the minor premiership and top the New Zealand conference, but they can hang onto fourth spot for a home final against what will likely be the Hurricanes, Chiefs or maybe even the Jagaures in a fortnight’s time.
As it stands, the Hurricanes have 45 competition points, which leaves them four points ahead of the Chiefs and five ahead of the Highlanders. Pending bonus points, a win here will secure them the fourth spot on the table and the top wildcard position to the finals.
Three straight losses leave the Hurricanes in desperate need of a form turnaround though. They would have been hoping four weeks away from the field during the June international window changed their cause, but they came out and lost to the Brumbies last week.
It followed losses to the Highlanders and Crusaders before the break, with the trio of losses all but costing them any chance of top spot in the New Zealand conference.
No matter the form of the Hurricanes, they should still be able to turn things around here because the Blues have been abysmal all season long.
They were much better last week though, albeit against the similarly woeful Reds. A 23-point win at Eden Park gave the Auckland-based club’s faithful something to smile about after losing five of their last six before the international break.
The Blues are running third-last in the competition with just four wins from their 14 games and while they have no chance of picking up the wooden spoon, the club would like to finish the season with a couple of confidence-building victories heading towards 2019.
The Hurricanes should win this, with the only real questions being by how many. At home, you’d expect the answer to be something along the lines of many.
Hurricanes by 25.
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