Hurricanes v Highlanders SuperRugby Final Preview

Out of the last ten Super Rugby matches between the Wellington based Hurricanes and the Dunedin based Highlanders the Dunedin side have won six and the Wellington side four matches.

These two teams have already played each other twice this year and the Hurricanes won both matches. The Hurricanes won the first match 13-20 in Dunedin and in the second match the Hurricanes won the match 56-20 in Wellington. It should be noted that the Highlanders fielded an understrength team in the Wellington match.

Overall the Hurricanes have played the Highlanders 25 times in Super Rugby since 1996 and the Hurricanes have won 14 matches and lost 11. There have been no draws.

That gives the Hurricanes a record of winning 56% of their matches against the Highlanders and the average score when the Hurricanes play the Highlanders is : Hurricanes 25 Highlanders 22.

This weekend’s Super Rugby final will be held at Westpac Stadium in Wellington which is home for the Hurricanes. The teams have met 10 times in Wellington and the Hurricanes have won five matches and lost five matches.

The average score when the Hurricanes play the Highlanders in Wellington is : Hurricanes 28 Highlanders 24.

The Hurricanes have actually had home advantage over the Highlanders 12 times and they have won seven of these matches. The other matches were played in Napier and New Plymouth and both of those matches were won by the Hurricnes.

The Hurricanes have played 17 matches this season and won 15 matches. At home they have played 9 matches and won 8 or 89%. .

The Highlanders have played 18 matches as they had an extra play off and they have won 13. Away from home the Highlanders have played 9 matches and won 6 or 67% of their away matches.

Fittingly the Hurricanes and the Highlanders were the top two teams in Super Rugby at the end of the regular season on points (not conference systems) and they have reached the final. The Hurricanes finished in first place so they have home advantage.

In terms of Super Rugby finals the Hurricanes and Highlanders have both appeared in one previous final each. The Hurricanes lost the 2006 Super 14 final 19-12 to the Crusaders in Christchurch and the Highlanders lost the 1999 Super 12 final 19-24 to the Crusaders.

The Hurricanes have named an unchanged side for the final although Ardie Savea faces a lat fitness test on his knee. The only change to the side that played last week is at reserve hooker where Motu Matu’u returns from a knee injury. Winger Cory Jane ruled himself out.

The Highlanders have also named an unchanged team for this week. Elliot Dixon will play his 50th game for the Highlanders capping off a great season for the Southland loose forward who was also named in the NZ Maori All Blacks this week.

The Highlanders style of play and enthusiam has won over tens of thousands of Super Rugby fans in 2015. Whilst taking nothing away from what the Highlanders have achieved this year this is almost a David vs Goliath final.

The Bookies have given the Highlanders a 4 point start for this Match – with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Hurricanes have home advantage and have won more matches than anyone this season. The Hurricanes should win this by 3.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 1/HD.

Average score: Hurricanes 25 Highlanders 22

Last ten results
05 Jun 2015 Hurricanes v Highlanders 56-20 Wellington
20 Mar 2015 Hurricanes v Highlanders 20-13 Dunedin
16 May 2014 Hurricanes v Highlanders 16-18 Wellington
21 Mar 2014 Hurricanes v Highlanders 31-35 Dunedin
06 Jul 2013 Hurricanes v Highlanders 44-49 Wellington
15 Mar 2013 Hurricanes v Highlanders 23-19 Dunedin
12 May 2012 Hurricanes v Highlanders 26-20 Dunedin
17 Mar 2012 Hurricanes v Highlanders 17-19 Wellington
13 May 2011 Hurricanes v Highlanders 6-13 Invercargill
18 Feb 2011 Hurricanes v Highlanders 9-14 Wellington

Hurricanes overall record against the Highlanders
Played 25 , Wins 14 , Losses 11, Draws 0

Match No.125 : Hurricanes v Highlanders
Date : Saturday 4 July 2015
Venue : Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Kick Off local: 19:35 NZST, 07:35 GMT, 09:35 SAST, 17:35 AEST
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2:Craig Joubert
TMO : Ben Skeen

Teams

Hurricanes

1.Reggie Goodes , 2.Dane Coles , 3.Ben Franks , 4.Jeremy Thrush , 5.James Broadhurst , 6.Brad Shields , 7.Ardie Savea/Callum Gibbins , 8.Victor Vito , 9.TJ Perenara , 10.Beauden Barrett , 11.Julian Savea , 12.Ma’a Nonu , 13.Conrad Smith (c) , 14.Nehe Milner-Skudder , 15.James Marshall

Replacements: 16.Motu Matu’u , 17.Chris Eves , 18.Jeffery Toomaga-Allen , 19.Callum Gibbins/Mark Abbott , 20.Blade Thomson , 21.Chris Smylie , 22.Rey Lee-Lo , 23.Matt Proctor

Highlanders

1. Brendon Edmonds , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Alex Ainley , 5. Mark Reddish , 6. Elliot Dixon , 7. James Lentjes , 8. Nasi Manu (cc) , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Patrick Osborne , 12. Richard Buckman , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Ben Smith (cc)

Replacements: 16. Ash Dixon , 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 18. Ross Geldenhuys , 19. Joe Wheeler , 20. Gareth Evans , 21. Shane Christie , 22. Fumiaki Tanaka , 23. Marty Banks

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