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The ACT Brumbies host Australian rivals the NSW Waratahs in a great Super Rugby derby in Canberra. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of this all-Australian clash from 7:45pm (AEDT).
These inter-conference matches are crucial for both sides as they look to find their way to the finals. Being able to claim the number one spot in your home conference is key to your long-term ambitions.
The Tahs have had the better start to the season but that doesn’t mean that they’ve looked all that strong. Their star-studded backline hasn’t clicked yet and while the late injury to Karmichael Hunt has meant the men from NSW will have the dual playmaker combination of Kurtley Beale and Bernard Foley at 10 and 12, we all know that partnership hasn’t always delivered.
The Tahs will also miss Hunt’s defensive skills in the midfield so look for the likes of Tevita Kuridrani and Christian Lealiifano to try and exploit this potential weakness.
Up front, the Brumbies are going to be missing a couple of key players – both David Pocock and Allan Alaalatoa are out through injury. That’s going to cause issues at both the set piece and the breakdown, and could really cost the home side.
After an incredible win against the Chiefs, the Brumbies backs have failed to deliver and the halves are going to need to step up against New South Wales.
Joe Powell has been a bit all over the place so far with moments of good, bad and ugly in the first few rounds. If he can deliver stable service to Lealiifano, allowing the experienced flyhalf to guide his team around the park, the Brumbies could generate some real pressure.
The Brumbies have beaten the Waratahs four out of the last five times they’ve played and are at home for this one. But the losses of Pocock and Alaalatoa will cost them.
Tahs to pick up an all-important conference win by five points. (And Israel Folau will get the two tries he needs to become the all-time top try scorer in Super Rugby.)
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:45pm (AEDT) tonight.
Kick-off: 7:45pm (AEDT)
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
TV: Live, Fox Sports
Betting: Brumbies $2.02, Waratahs $1.78
Head-to-head: Played 32, Brumbies 15, Waratahs 17
1. Scott Sio, 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 4. Rory Arnold, 5. Sam Carter, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Tom Cusack, 8. Lachlan McCaffrey, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Lausii Taliauli, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Henry Speight, 15. Tom Banks
Bench: 16. Josh Mann-Rea, 17. James Slipper, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Murray Douglass, 20. Pete Samu, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23. Mack Hansen
1. Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2. Damien Fitzpatrick, 3. Sekope Kepu, 4. Jed Holloway, 5. Rob Simmons, 6. Ned Hanigan, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Jack Dempsey, 9. Jake Gordon, 10. Bernard Foley, 11. Alex Newsome, 12. Kurtley Beale, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14. Curtis Rona, 15. Israel Folau
Bench: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. Rory O’Connor, 18. Chris Talakai, 19. Ryan McCauley, 20. Lachlan Swinton, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Mack Mason, 23. Cam Clark
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Refs: Jordan way, Amy Perrett
TMO: James Leckie