The tenth round of the 2014 Super Rugby season starts in New Zealand's capital when the Hurricanes host the Blues at Westpac Stadium on Friday.
Out of the last four Super Rugby matches between the Hurricanes and the Blues the Blues have won three and the Hurricanes have won two.
Overall since 1996 the Hurricanes have played the Blues 21 times and they have won 7 times and lost 12 times. There was one draw between the teams in 2004 when the match finished at 26 all.
The Hurricanes therefore have a record of winning 33% of their matches against the Blues across all venues.
The average score when the Hurricanes play the Blues is : Hurricanes 23 Blues 29.
As mentioned above the match will be played in Wellington which is home for the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes have had home advantage over the Blues on 10 occasions since 1996 and they have played 9 matches in Wellington.
The first Hurricanes home match against the Blues in Super rugby was played in Palmerston North and the Blues won 28-36.
In the Hurricanes nine home matches in Wellington the have won 3 three times, lost five times and drawn once.
That gives the Hurricanes a record of winning 33% of their matches against the Blues in Wellington. The average score when the Hurricanes play the Blues in Wellington is: Hurricanes 24 Blues 31.
In short the stats show that the Blues like playing the Hurricanes more than the Hurricanes like playing the Blues.
The Hurricanes are one place above the Blues in the New Zealand Super Rugby Conference and both teams have played 7 matches and won three matches. Both teams are on 16 points and both have played four matches away from home and have completed their tour of South Africa. They both also had a bye last week.
Looking at the Super Rugby standings the teams are only separated by a points difference of 15 points.
In terms of form the Blues looked to have hit form three weeks ago when they beat the Highlanders and at the start of the round they topped the New Zealand conference. They then lost to the Brumbies in Canberra and with the bye they have slipped to the bottom of the NZ Conference.
The Blues have made six changes for this week's match with Keven Mealamu returning to the starting line up to form an all-All Blacks front row alongside Tony Woodcock and Charlie Faumuina. Several other key Blues players have returned from injury.
Chris Noakes takes charge of the backline while All Blacks Ma'a Nonu and Francis Saili feature in a powerful midfield combination, while livewire winger Lolagi Visinia will make his first start of the season in place of Frank Halai.
In terms of form the Hurricanes went into the bye on a two match winning streak having beaten the Crusaders and the Bulls. The bye might have come at a bad time for the Hurricanes and a good time for the Blues.
In selection terms outgoing coach Mark Hammett has made one change to his starting line up with South African born Reg Goodes returning to the starting line up replacing Ben Franks who has a groin strain.
Both teams have been on a roller coaster ride this year with up and down form. It's hard to pick between these teams and although the Hurricanes have a poor record against the Blues they still have home advantage this week and home advantage has been crucial this year.
The Bookies have given the Blues a 4 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $250.00 Bet. We are going to back the Hurricanes to edge this one by 1 point.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2/HD on the Red Button.
Average score: Hurricanes 23 Blues 29
Last five results
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
23 Mar 2012 Hurricanes v Blues 26-25 Auckland
06 May 2011 Hurricanes v Blues 11-17 Wellington
Hurricanes overall record against the Blues
Played 21 , Wins 7, Losses 13 , Draws 1
Match No. 56: Hurricanes v Blues
Date :Friday 18 April
Venue : Westpac Stadium
Kick Off local: 19:35
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Chris Wratt
1. Reggie Goodes,2. Dane Coles,3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen,4. Jeremy Thrush,5. James Broadhurst,6. Faifili Levave,7. Jack Lam,8. Victor Vito,9. TJ Perenara,10. Beauden Barrett,11. Julian Savea,12. Alapati Leiua,13. Conrad Smith (c),14. Cory Jane,15. Andre Taylor
Replacements : 16. Motu Matu’u,17. Chris Eves,18. John Schwalger,19. Blade Thomson,20. Ardie Savea,21. Chris Smylie,22. Tim Bateman,23. Matt Proctor
15. Charles Piutau,14. George Moala,13. Francis Saili,12. Ma'a Nonu,11. Lolagi Visinia,10. Chris Noakes,9. Bryn Hall,8. Jerome Kaino,7. Luke Braid (C),6. Steven Luatua,5. Tom Donnelly,4. Patrick Tuipulotu,3. Charlie Faumuina,2. Keven Mealamu,1. Tony Woodcock
Replacements :16. James Parsons,17. Sam Prattley,18. Angus Ta'avao,19. Liaki Moli,20. Brendon O'Connor,21. Jamison Gibson-Park,22. Benji Marshall,23. Frank Halai