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150chiefsThe first of Saturday’s matches in Round 14 of Super Rugby sees the Blues host the Chiefs in a New Zealand Conference derby in Auckland and the visitors have a dominant record against this opposition.

 

 

 

Blues v Chiefs, Saturday 18th May, Auckland, KO 09:35 (South African time)

Referee:   Glen Jackson
Assistant Refs: Nick Briant, Dan Waenga
TMO: Glenn Newman

Weather Forecast – Auckland

 

Blues:

The Blues streaky form this season continued at home to the Hurricanes last week when they were beaten 22-12. Their season started with 3 straight defeats followed by 4 consecutive wins and 3 more defeats to give them an overall record of 4 wins and 7 losses. Coming into Round 14 the Blues were bottom of the New Zealand Conference, 2 points behind their opponents here and 8 behind the third placed Highlanders.

They have won 1 (and lost 4) of their 4 local derby games this season, 33-26 against the Highlanders in a home fixture in Round 6 being the lone success. In addition to last week’s loss to the Canes one other home game against NZ opposition saw them edged out 24-22 by the Crusaders back in Round 1.

Of the Blues 11 matches this season, 8 have been settled by margins of 12 points or less.

 

 

Chiefs:

The Chiefs moved ahead of the Blues in the NZ Conference with a 29-23 home win over the Sharks last week. Their record now reads 4 wins, 2 draws and 6 defeats and 4 of those losses came in the first 4 rounds.

The 2 draws this season came in local derby games, at home to the Canes (23-23) in Round 5 and away to the Highlanders (31-31) in Round 12. Their only win against local opposition came in the first meeting with the Blues, 33-29 in Hamilton in Round 9 and 3 other derby matches ended in defeat.

The Chiefs now take aim at the Blues again and they haven’t lost to this opposition since 2011. Since then the Chiefs have won 14 and drawn 1 of the 15 head to heads.

 

Team News

BLUES : Melani Nanai, Caleb Clarke, TJ Faiane, Ma’a Nonu, Rieko Ioane, Harry Plummer, Jonathan Ruru, Akira Ioane, Blake Gibson (co-c), Dalton Papalii, Scott Scrafton, Patrick Tuipulotu (co-c), Ofa Tuungafasi, James Parsons, Alex Hodgman 

Reserves: Matt Moulds, Lua Li, Karl Tu’inukuafe , Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Tom Robinson, Augustine Pulu, Otere Black, Matt Duffie 

 

Chiefs: Solomon Alaimalo, Sean Wainui, Tumua Manu, Anton Lienert-Brown, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Marty McKenzie, Brad Weber (c), Tyler Ardron, Mitchell Karpik, Pita Gus Sowakula, Mitchell Brown, Jesse Parete, Angus Ta'avao, Nathan Harris, Atu Moli. 

Reserves: Liam Polwart, Aidan Ross, Nepo Laulala, Mitchell Jacobson, Sam Cane, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Shaun Stevenson, Alex Nankivell.

 

 

 

 

Recent Head to Head (any venue)

2019 Hamilton Chiefs 33–29 Blues (Tries 5-4)

2018 Hamilton Chiefs 21–19 Blues (Tries 2-1)

2018 Auckland Blues 21–27 Chiefs (Tries 3-4 )

2017 Auckland Blues 16-16 Chiefs (Tries 1-2)

2017 Hamilton Chiefs 41–26 Blues (Tries 6-3)

2016 Hamilton Chiefs 29–23 Blues (Tries 5-2 )

2015 Hamilton Chiefs 23–16 Blues (Tries 2-1 )

2015 Albany Blues 18–23 Chiefs (Tries 0-2 )

2014 Auckland Blues 8–11 Chiefs (Tries 1-1 )

2014 New Plymouth Chiefs 32–20 Blues (Tries 4-2 )

2013 Auckland Blues 16–26 Chiefs (Tries 1-4 )

2013 Mount Maunganui Chiefs 23–16 Blues (Tries 2-1 )

 

The Betting,

BLUvCHI

Sportingbet, Claim your 1st deposit bonus of up to R2,000 here

Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.

 

Betting Angle

The Blues are 3.5 to 4.5 point favourites with the bookies at the time of writing, suggesting this is an opportunity to end a long running hoodoo against the Chiefs.

However just lately the home side have failed to build on a promising sequence of results and I wouldn’t be rushing in to back them to win the game never mind cover the handicap.

I toyed with the away win but if the Chiefs are to prevail then I don’t see them running away with it. That brings the away win by a 1-12 point margin onto my radar at what looks a reasonably attractive price.

 

Bet: 2 units, Chiefs win by 1-12 points at 5/2 Sportingbet

Sportingbet, Claim your 1st deposit bonus of up to R2,000 here

(Unit Scale 1 to 5)

 

forumRemember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum

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