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Both coming off wins away from home, the Hurricanes and Sharks will fancy their chances of a win when they meet in Wellington tonight. Join The Roar for live scores from 5:05pm (AEDT).
The Sharks have been one of the form sides of the competition, having notched consecutive wins against the Bulls and Highlanders in back-to-back weeks. With the latter coming on the road in New Zealand, tonight’s away trip against the Hurricanes might not be as daunting as previously expected.
As for the home team, after being woeful in a scoreless Round 1 performance, they turned things around nicely last weekend with an underdog victory over the Jaguares in Argentina.
Jordie Barrett, now playing out of his brother’s shadow following Beauden’s move to the Blues, was superb. Not only did he nail a mammoth penalty from well over 60 metres out, he stuck a crucial try-saver to help seal the three-point win.
The news gets better for the Canes tonight, with All Blacks hooker Dane Coles set for his first appearance of the season, albeit from the bench.
Even without Beauden Barrett in their midst, the Hurricanes still boast a formidable backline headed by skipper TJ Perenara, Jordie Barrett, Ngani Laumape and try-scoring machine Ben Lam.
If there’s one weakness there, though, it comes at a crucial position. Jackson Gardon-Bachop is still finding his feet as a Super Rugby player – look for the Sharks to look to exploit the 25-year-old flyhalf.
With neither side possessing an incredible forward pack but both with plenty of tryscoring ability in their ranks, this could be an entertaining encounter. The Hurricanes and Sharks are both coming off good wins, but we’ll go with the home side to win today.
Hurricanes to edge a tight match.
Kick-off: 5:05pm (AEDT)
Venue: Sky Stadium, Wellington
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
Odds: Hurricanes $1.35, Sharks $3.25
15. Jordie Barrett, 14. Wes Goosen, 13. Vince Aso, 12. Ngani Laumape, 11. Ben Lam, 10. Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9. TJ Perenara (c), 8. Reed Prinsep, 7. Gareth Evans, 6. Vaea Fifita, 5. Scott Scrafton, 4. Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 2. Asafo Aumua, 1. Fraser Armstrong
16. Dane Coles, 17. Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18. Alex Fidow, 19. Liam Mitchell, 20. Du’Plessis Kirifi, 21. Jamie Booth, 22. Fletcher Smith, 23. Billy Proctor
15. Aphelele Fassi, 14. Madosh Tambwe, 13. Lukhanyo Am (c), 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Boeta Chamberlain, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Sikumbuzo Notshe, 7. Tyler Paul, 6. James Venter, 5. Hyron Andrews, 4. Ruben van Heerden, 3. Thomas du Toit, 2. Kerron van Vuuren, 1. Ox Nche
16. Craig Burden, 17. Juan Schoeman, 18. John-Hubert Meyer, 19. Le Roux Roets, 20. Dylan Richardson, 21. Phendulani Buthelezi, 22. Sanele Nohamba, 23. Jeremy Ward