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The Chiefs will look to maintain their perfect start to the season as they take on the Brumbies in this-trans Tasman clash in Round 4 of Super Rugby. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of what promises to be an exciting match starting from 5:05pm (AEDT).
There are so many stories flying around this match before the kick off whistle has even been blown that it’s easy to get distracted from this top of the table clash. Firstly you’ve got the Brumbies squad suffering from a potential mumps outbreak and then you’ve got both sides having a number of players with crazy stories making an appearance.
Warren Gatland has made nine changes to his starting line up including bringing back talented flanker Luke Jacobson who will combine with Sam Cane and Pita Gus Sowakula to make an impressive back row. Perhaps one of the best stories of the weekend is seeing Sam McNicol starting on the wing. McNicol has taken over 1000 days to return to Super Rugby after a series of nasty injuries including a concussion that had him seeing stars for weeks apparently.
Experienced Aaron Cruden is back at fly half while club hero Brad Weber is rested and replaced by rookie Lisati Milo-Harris. If these two can get a good partnership working then the firepower in the Chiefs’ outside backs could see them cut the Brumbies to pieces but that’s going to rely on quick, clean ball from the forwards.
The Brumbies might have lost their game last week to the Highlanders but they will travel with some confidence knowing that the game was theirs for the taking and they let it slip. They haven’t won in New Zealand since 2014 though and without Tom Wright and Folau Fainga’a the rest of the team will need to step up especially the front five who will need to dominate the Chiefs pack.
Also back in for the Brumbies will be Irae Simone, Lachlan Lonergan, Bayley Kuenzle and Toni Pulu. Simone will pair with Tevita Kuridrani in the centres which will give the Canberra men a real threat in the midfield of power and pace.
The Brumbies have got an impressive pack and set piece and they will definitely look to use it to its fullest in Hamilton. However the Chiefs have got some more talent and experience in key positions and that should see them home.
Chiefs by 7
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of what promises to be an exciting match starting from 5:05pm (AEDT) on Saturday.
Where: FMG Stadium, Waikato
When: 5:05pm (AEDT)
TV: Fox Sports
Online: Kayo Sports, Foxtel GO
Odds: Chiefs $1.10, Brumbies $6.40
1. Aidan Ross, 2. Bradley Slater, 3. Atu Moli, 4. Michael Allardice, 5. Mitchell Brown, 6. Luke Jacobson, 7. Sam Cane (c), 8. Pita Gus Sowakula, 9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 10. Aaron Cruden, 11. Sam McNicol, 12. Alex Nankivell, 13. Anton Lienert-Brown, 14. Sean Wainui, 15. Damian McKenzie
16. Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17. Reuben O’Neill, 18. Ross Geldenhuys, 19. Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20. Mitchell Karpik, 21. Lisati Milo-Harris, 22. Kaleb Trask, 23. Quinn Tupaea
1. James Slipper, 2. Connal McInerney, 3. Allan Alaalatoa (c), 4. Cadeyrn Neville, 5. Murray Douglas, 6. Rob Valetini, 7. Will Miller, 8. Pete Samu, 9. Joe Powell, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Andy Muirhead, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Solomone Kata, 15. Tom Banks
16. Lachlan Lonergan, 17. Scott Sio, 18. Tom Ross, 19. Nick Frost, 20. Lachlan McCaffrey, 21. Ryan Lonergan, 22. Bayley Kuenzle, 23. Toni Pulu