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Blues v Brumbies Rd.16 Super Rugby Preview

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The penultimate round of the Super Rugby regular season kicks off in Auckland where the Blues host Australian Conference leaders the Brumbies.

Round 16 is the last but one before the play offs begin later this month and the pressure is on the Brumbies this week.

The Blues now cannot qualify for the play offs as they have 30 points and could earn a maximum of 10 points from their remaining matches which would not be enough to move them ahead of the Highlanders who are the last placed Australasian Group team.

The Brumbies are level on 39 points with the Waratahs are ahead of the Sydney side on numbers of matches won. As the Brumbies and Waratahs are level on points they both ideally need to win both of their matches.

Next week the Crusaders play the Hurricanes and the Highlanders play the Chiefs which will impact greatly on the Waratahs chances. The Waratahs also play the Hurricanes this week which will impact on both team’s title hopes.

The Blues and the Brumbies have played each other 21 times in Super Rugby since 1996 and the Blues have won 12 and lost nine. That means the Blues have won 57% of their matches.

The teams have met 12 times in Auckland and the Blues have won 8 matches and lost four. That gives the Blues a record of winning 67% of their matches at home.

The average score when the Blues play the Brumbies in Auckland is : Blues 24 Brumbies 23

In the last five matches between the teams in Auckland the winners have alternated between the teams. Of the five matches the Blues have won three.

These two teams met at Eden Park last April, with the Blues kicking a late penalty goal to seal a 16-14 win. The Brumbies have won two out of the last three meetings between the two sides at all venues.

The Brumbies last won at Eden Park in 2013 with a hard-fought 20-13 victory.

The Blues have retained the side that pushed the Hurricanes last week so there are no changes this week.

The Brumbies have made two changes to the side that beat the Reds last week. Tomas Cubelli returns to the side replacing Joe Powell while former Australian Sevens Representative, Michael Wells comes into the side to make his first Super Rugby start and replaces the injured Ben Hyne.

The Bookies have given the Blues a 1 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. While the Brumbies don’t have a great record in Auckland it’s not terrible and they have it all to play for. The Brumbies should edge this by two.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ (Sky), Aus (Fox Sports), SA (SuperSport) and in the UK on Sky Sports 1.

Average score: Blues 24 Brumbies 23

Last five results
10 Apr 2015 Blues v Brumbies 16-14 Auckland
04 Apr 2014 Blues v Brumbies 9-26 Canberra
25 May 2013 Blues v Brumbies 13-20 Auckland
14 Jul 2012 Blues v Brumbies 30-16 Canberra
19 Mar 2010 Blues v Brumbies 39-34 Auckland

Blues overall record against the Brumbies
Played 21, Wins 12, Losses 9 , Draws 0

Match No.118: Blues v Brumbies
Date : Friday 8 July 2016
Venue : Eden Park, Auckland
Kick Off local: 19:35 local
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 2:Jamie Nutbrown
TMO : Shame McDermott

Teams

Blues

Sam Prattley, James Parsons ( C ), Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Patrick Tuipulotu, Josh Bekhuis or Scott Scrafton, Jerome Kaino, Kara Pryor, Steven Luatua; Bryn Hall, Ihaia West, Tevita Li, Piers Francis, Male Sa’u or Matt Vaega, Matt Duffie, Melani Nanai.

Replacements: Quentin MacDonald, Nic Mayhew, Sione Mafileo, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Blake Gibson, Billy Guyton, Matt Vaega or Michael Little, Lolagi Visinia.

Brumbies

1. Scott Sio, 2. Stephen Moore (c), 3. Ben Alexander, 4. Rory Arnold, 5. Sam Carter, 6. Scott Fardy, 7. Jarrad Butler, 8. Michael Wells, 9. Tomás Cubelli , 10. Christian Lealiifano (c), 11.James Dargaville, 12. Matt Toomua, 13.Tevita Kuridrani, 14.Nigel Ah Wong, 15.Aidan Toua

Replacements : Josh Mann-Rea, Allan Alaalatoa, Ruan Smith, Blake Enever, Tom Staniforth, Joe Powell, Andrew Smith, Lausii Taliauli

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