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|J. V. Wyk||56|
The Hurricanes face a big clash as they take on a winless Chiefs outfit at Wellington’s Sky Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores from 5:05pm (AEST). .
The Chiefs – one of the contenders when the season began – are staring down a very ominous record. They’re last place, five points behind second-last Highlanders. Lose today, and they’ll finish the season winless. Win, and they avoid that record – although their 0-7 record isn’t pretty viewing whatever way one looks at it.
That 0-7 record does not necessarily translate into the Chiefs being horrendous this year, because they haven’t. In the past fortnight, the team from Hamilton have come close to beating both the Crusaders and the Blues, but weren’t able to get there.
The Hurricanes, for their part, are currently sitting third, and a win today will be vital in ensuring they remain in with an opportunity secure the title, however slim their chancs. They face the Highlanders next Saturday – a game they’re favourites in – but can’t slip up in either game.
The last match between these two – early last month – ended in a seven-point Hurricanes win.
The Chiefs won’t be handing a final game to NZ international Aaron Cruden, but there is potential for Robb Cobb and Kini Naholo to make their Super Rugby debuts. Warren Gatland’s team has also lost Lachlan Boshier, but have gained instrumental All Black Luke Jacobson.
The Hurricanes won’t see former All Black Julian Savea return to the team, but do regain Dane Coles and Tyrel Lomax. Wes Goosen will celebrate 50 games.
Kick-off: 5:05pm (AEST)
Venue: Sky Stadium, Wellington
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keefee, Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Mike Fraser
Betting: Hurricanes $1.47, Chiefs $2.70
Jordie Barrett, Kobus van Wyk, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Vince Aso, Wes Goosen, Jackson Garden-Bachop, TJ Perenara (c), Ardie Savea, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Scott Scrafton, James Blackwell, Tyrel Lomax, Dane Coles (c), Ben May.
Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Tevita Mafileo, Pouri Rakete-Stones, Kane Le’aupepe, Devan Flanders, Jamie Booth, Billy Proctor, Jonah Lowe
Ollie Norris, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Nepo Laulala, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Mitchell Brown, Luke Jacobson, Sam Cane, Pita Gus Sowakula, Brad Weber, Kaleb Trask, Sean Wainui, Alex Nankivell, Anton Lienert-Brown, Shaun Stevenson, Damian McKenzie
Reserves: Bradley Slater, Robb Cobb, Angus Ta’avao, Tupou Vaa’i, Mitchell Karpik, Lisati Milo-Harris, Quinn Tupaea, Kini Naholo