Hurricanes v Blues Super Rugby Preview

Out of the last five Super Rugby matches between the Wellington based Hurricanes and Auckland’s Blues the Auckland side have won three and the Wellington side two.

Overall the Hurricanes have played the Blues 23 times since Super Rugby began in 1996 and the Canes have won just 8 of those matches.

That gives the Hurricanes a record of winning just 35% of their matches against the Blues. The average score when the Hurricanes play the Blues is Hurricanes 24 Blues 29.

This weekend the Hurricanes will have home advantage although it won’t be full home advantage as the match will be played in Palmerston North where the teams have met once before.

In 1996 the Hurricanes played the Blues in Palmerston North and the match was won 26-30 by the Blues.

The Hurricanes have had home advantage over the Blues 11 times and the Hurricanes have won 36% of their matches with an average score of : Hurricanes 26 Blues 30.

In the last five Hurricanes matches the Blues and Hurricanes have alternated being winners and the last match was won by the Hurricanes 39-20 in April last year.

Almost all of the stats suggest that the Blues will win this week given their history but as most Super Rugby fans know they are in a but of a slump presently as they have yet to win a match this season.

In comparison the Hurricanes are one of just two remaining teams that are unbeaten after four rounds (the Hurricanes have only played three matches).

In terms of selection the Hurricanes have named Nehe Milner-Skudder in the starting line up which pushes Jason Woodward out of the squad. On the wing Matt Proctor replaces All Black Cory Jane and Jeremy Thrush returns through the replacements bench.

The Blues will be without regular captain Jerome Kaino for this match after he failed a concussion test so Luke Braid assumes the captaincy. The Blues will have an All Black front row with Keven Mealamu on the bench.

Jimmy Cowan, who has a knee strain, is bracketed with Jamison Gibson-Park at halfback, with the rest of the backline unchanged.

Akira Ioane comes into the replacements at loose forward, Bryn Hall (who missed last Friday’s Blues A match against the Argentina Pampas with a back injury), is bracketed at halfback as he seeks his first start of the year, while George Moala is on the bench after recovering from a knee injury.

The Bookies have given the Blues an 11 point start for this Match – with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. While the Blues have been struggling this season the Hurricanes are unbeaten and haven’t show any real chinks in their armour yet. The Hurricanes should win this by 8.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 4.

Average score: Hurricanes 24 Blues 29

Last five results
31 May 2014 Hurricanes v Blues 24-37 Auckland
18 Apr 2014 Hurricanes v Blues 39-20 Wellington
13 Apr 2013 Hurricanes v Blues 6-28 Auckland
23 Feb 2013 Hurricanes v Blues 20-34 Wellington
04 May 2012 Hurricanes v Blues 35-19 Wellington

Hurricanes overall record against the Blues
Played 23 , Wins 8 , Losses 14 , Draws 1

Match No.28:Hurricanes v Blues
Date : Friday 13 March 2015
Venue : FMG Stadium, Palmerston North
Kick Off local: 19:35 local, 17:35 AEDT, 08:35 SAST
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Shane McDermott
TMO : Aaron Paterson

Teams

Hurricanes

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

Replacements: 16. Motu Matu’u , 17. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen , 18. Chris Eves , 19. Jeremy Thrush , 20. Blade Thomson , 21. Chris Smylie , 22. Rey Lee-Lo , 23. James Marshall.

Blues

Tony Woodcock , James Parsons , Charlie Faumuina , Josh Bekhuis , Patrick Tuipulotu , Brendon O’Connor , Luke Braid ( C ) , Steven Luatua , Jimmy Cowan/Jamison Gibson-Park , Ihaia West , Melani Nanai , Francis Saili , Charles Piutau , Frank Halai , Lolagi Visinia

Replacements : 16. Keven Mealamu , 17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi , 18. Angus Ta’avao/Sam Prattley , 19. Hayden Triggs , 20. Akira Ioane , 21. Gibson-Park/Bryn Hall , 22. Simon Hickey , 23. George Moala

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