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The final home-and-away match of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman sees the NSW Waratahs hosting the Chiefs with one last chance to avoid a winless 2021 season. Follow along with the action from Brookvale with live scores on The Roar from 7:45pm (AEST).
Eight losses from eight in Super Rugby AU, and now four from four in the Trans-Tasman competition: 2021 has been nothing short of a nightmare for the Waratahs. Not only that, but they have lost every match against a New Zealand opponent by a minimum of 26 points. How the mighty have fallen.
A thirteenth defeat here would see them become the first professional football team in Australia to go through a year winless, with a minimum of 10 games, since the Roosters in the 1966 NSWRFL season, if you thought the situation wasn’t already embarrassing enough.
Making matters worse, the Tahs have been hit by an injury crisis, with captain Jake Gordon (leg), Jack Maddocks (hand) and Dave Porecki (calf) all to finish the season on the sidelines, after sustaining their injuries in last week’s 59-23 loss to the Highlanders. They do welcome back Tom Horton, James Ramm and Hugh Sinclair from injury, while Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco gets his first start at number eight following his mid-year move from Japan.
The Chiefs, too, will be bowing out of the competition after tonight, and are all but certain to finish as the lowest-ranked of the five New Zealand sides. While they’ve only lost once, a thriller to the Reds, they have escaped with a number of close wins, just as they did in the run to the Super Rugby Aotearoa final.
They will still be without the talismanic Damian McKenzie through suspension, but welcome back captain Brad Weber to take on the Tahs, as well as winger Sean Wainui. The Chiefs have opted to give Anton Lienert-Brown a slight rest by naming him on the bench.
The Chiefs are the only New Zealand team to have conceded more points than they’ve scored across the Aotearoa and Trans-Tasman tournaments. They’ll need to beat the Waratahs by at least 28 points to avoid that fate.
Kick-off: 7:45pm (AEST)
Venue: Brookvale Oval, Sydney
Live stream: Stan Sport
Betting: Waratahs $9.20, Chiefs $1.06 (odds via PlayUp)
1. Andrew Tuala, 2. Tom Horton, 3. Te Tera Faulkner, 4. Hugh Sinclair, 5. Jack Whetton, 6. Lachlan Swinton, 7. Jack Dempsey, 8. Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, 9. Jack Grant, 10. Will Harrison, 11. James Ramm, 12. Lalakai Foketi, 13. Izaia Perese, 14. Alex Newsome (c), 15. Mark Nawaqanitawase
Reserves: 16. Robbie Abel, 17. Pek Cowan, 18. Chris Talakai, 19. Sam Caird, 20. Jeremy Williams, 21. Will Harris, 22. Henry Robertson, 23. Tane Edmed
1. Aidan Ross, 2. Bradley Slater, 3. Angus Ta’avao, 4. Zane Kapeli, 5. Tupou Vaa’i, 6. Pita Gus Sowakula, 7. Lachlan Boshier, 8. Luke Jacobson, 9. Brad Weber (c), 10. Bryn Gatland, 11. Sean Wainui, 12. Quinn Tupaea, 13. Alex Nankivell, 14. Shaun Stevenson, 15. Kaleb Trask
Reserves: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17. Ollie Norris, 18. Reuben O’Neill, 19. Viliami Taulani, 20. Tom Florence, 21. Xavier Roe, 22. Anton Lienert-Brown, 23. Chase Tiatia