The first of this season’s Super Rugby play off fixtures comes from Canberra on Friday where the Brumbies clash with the Hurricanes.
Brumbies v Hurricanes, Friday 21st July, Canberra, KO 11:45 (South African time)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), William Houston (Australia)
Television match official: Ian Smith (Australia)
Weather Forecast – Canberra
The Brumbies arrive in the play offs on the back of successive defeats away to the Reds and the Chiefs but those 2 losses came since the international break and the Brumbies had already had this home play off berth sealed courtesy of topping the Australian Conference. They made wholesale changes to their line up for last week’s trip to Hamilton and they didn’t perform badly in the circumstances, however a record of 6 wins and 9 defeats in the regular season is still inferior to the Blues who finished bottom of the New Zealand Conference. The Brumbies have lost all 5 of their matches against NZ opposition this season including a heavy defeat away to the Hurricanes (56-21) in Round 9.
In the first round of play off matches in 2016 the Brumbies also had home advantage but they were beaten 15-9 by the Highlanders.
The Hurricanes came through the regular season with 12 wins and 3 defeats to finish as runners up to the Crusaders in New Zealand. Last week they became the first team to beat the Saders in 2017, avenging a Round 12 defeat in Christchurch and the Chiefs (twice) are the only other side to beat the Hurricanes in the current campaign. From 2 visits to Australia the Canes beat the Reds (34-15) in Brisbane and the Force (34-12) in Perth.
In 2016 the Canes had topped the overall standings at the end of the round robin stage and their route to being crowned champions included a 41-0 home win over the Sharks in the quarter finals.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani,12 Andrew Smith,11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter (captain), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Christian Leali'ifano
Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Jordie Barrett, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Brad Shields, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Mark Abbott,3 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ben May
Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Loni Uhila, 19 Reed Prinsep, 20 Callum Gibbins, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Otere Black, 23 Cory Jane
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2017 Napier Hurricanes 56-21 Brumbies (Tries 8-3)
2016 Canberra Brumbies 52-10 Hurricanes (Tries 7-1)
2015 Wellington Hurricanes 29–9 Brumbies (Tries 4-0) semi final
2014 Wellington Hurricanes 21–29 Brumbies (Tries 2-4)
2013 Canberra Brumbies 30-23 Hurricanes (Tries 2-2)
2012 Wellington Hurricanes 25–37 Brumbies (Tries 4-4)
2011 Canberra Brumbies 17-16 Hurricanes (Tries 1-1)
2010 Canberra Brumbies 13-23 Hurricanes (Tries 2-2)
Brumbies +12.5 points 9/10 WSB
Hurricanes -10.5 points 9/10 Sportingbet
Note, odds quoted are correct at the time of last update but are subject to change.
My thinking is that the Hurricanes will have too much for a spirited Brumbies side and after overcoming early resistance the visitors will pull away and cover the best current minus handicap.
Bet: 4 units Hurricanes -10.5 points 9/10 Sportingbet
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