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|J. V. Wyk||62|
The Hurricanes will welcome the Auckland Blues to Wellington in Round 6 of Super Rugby as both sides look to build winning streaks and momentum. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of what promises to be an exciting match starting from 4:55 pm AEDT on Saturday.
Both sides are bringing in some of their top talent for this match as the coaches look to select on form while balancing workload for players and avoiding risk of burn out later in the season.
For the home side, there are a couple of changes with Jordie Barrett starting at fullback while Isaia Walker-Leawere will play in the second row, where he replaces James Blackwell.
The Canes are coming off a rampant win over the Sunwolves last week which was their third win in a row this season after losing their opening game. They will be expecting a far tougher challenge this week as the Blues look to build on their excellent South African tour where they won both their games.
The Auckland side will definitely have grown in confidence but they have had a frustrating preparation week as disrupted travel back home has meant that they’ve only had two training sessions ahead of this match.
Blues fans will be excited to see Akira Ioane make his first start of the year. Ioane has earned the opportunity to replace Hoskins Sotutu who has had a great early season, and the Canes will be concerned about the power in the Blues back row.
Ofa Tuungafasi also gets a start in the front row and the forward battle between these two sides will be crucial to the outcome of the match. The ‘Canes have some fantastic talent in their backs but if the Blues forwards can beat up their opponents, give Otere Black good quick ball to play with and he can deliver another good performance, then the visitors could really stand a chance.
The Canes are definitely favourites going into this one but there’s something developing in this Blues squad that makes them much more of a threat than recent seasons. The Auckland side can take this one with a powerful forward performance.
Blues by 5.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of what promises to be an exciting match starting from 4:55 pm AEDT on Saturday.
Where: Sky Stadium, Wellington
Date: Saturday 7th March
When: Kick off 5:05 pm AEDT
TV: Fox Sports
Online: Kayo Sports, Foxtel GO
Betting: Hurricanes – 1.40, Blues – 2.94
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Shane McDermott
2020 form: Hurricanes LWWBW, Blues LWLWW
15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Vince Aso, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia
16 Dane Coles, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Alex Fidow, 19 James Blackwell, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Billy Proctor, 23 Wes Goosen
15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Joe Marchant, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Jacob Pierce, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
16 James Parsons, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Matt Duffie