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Hurricanes v Chiefs Super Rugby Semi-Final Preview

Seta Tamanivalu will play Super Rugby for the Crusaders in 2017

The first Super Rugby Semi-final match this season is in Wellington New Zealand where the Hurricanes host the Chiefs.

The Hurricanes host the match as they finished in first place in the Super Rugby standings at the end of the regular season.

The Chiefs finished the season in sixth place and qualified for the Semi-final by beating the Stormers in Cape Town last week. The Hurricanes qualified for the Semi-finals by beating the Sharks last week.

The Hurricanes and the Chiefs have already met once this year at this venue and the Chiefs won that match 27-28 in April.

Overall the Hurricanes have played the Chiefs 27 times in Super Rugby and they have won 14 matches, lost 12 and drawn one.

This gives the Hurricanes a record of winning 52% of their matches against the Chiefs.

This weekend the match will be played in Wellington where the teams have met 12 times. In those 12 matches the Hurricanes have won 9 matches and lost three.

The average score when the Hurricanes host the Chiefs in Wellington the score is Hurricanes 29 Chiefs 22.

The Hurricanes have been forced to bracket captain Dane Coles with Ricky Riccitelli as Coles suffered a rib injury against the Sharks last week and is in a race to be fit for this Saturday.

The potential Coles change is the only change to the Hurricanes line up for this week. For last week’s quarter final Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd made three changes so the Hurricanes are a fairly settled side.

The Chiefs have made three changes for this week as Sam Cane, Seta Tamanivalu and Michael Leitch are all in the side. The Chiefs pack has been retained with Kane Hames, Nathan Harris and Atu Moli packing down together in the front row.

Dominic Bird and Brodie Retallick continue their dominant locking partnership, with Taleni Seu, Tom Sanders and Sam Cane forming a hard-working loose forward trio. In the backs, experienced All Black Tawera Kerr-Barlow will start at halfback this week, with support from Aaron Cruden at first five-eighth.

Anton Lienert-Brown moves to second five-eighth, with the explosive Seta Tamanivalu returning from injury to start at centre. The exciting trio of James Lowe, Sam McNicol and Damian McKenzie complete the backline.

Of note in the reserves is the return of workhorse Michael Leitch who has been sidelined since May after dislocating his thumb against the Rebels.

The Hurricanes go into this match as strong favourites due to their ranking in the overall standings at the end of the season and their home advantage. Interestingly though the only team to have beaten the Hurricanes in Wellington this year is the Chiefs.

The Bookies have given the Chiefs a 5 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Hurricanes are more settled and have home advantage so they have to be favourites. The Hurricanes should edge this one by four.

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: Hurricanes 23 Chiefs 22

Last five results
23 Apr 2016 Hurricanes v Chiefs 27-28 Wellington
13 Jun 2015 Hurricanes v Chiefs 21-13 New Plymouth
16 May 2015 Hurricanes v Chiefs 22-18 Wellington
04 Jul 2014 Hurricanes v Chiefs 16-24 Hamilton
24 May 2014 Hurricanes v Chiefs 45-8 Wellington

Hurricanes overall record against the Chiefs
Played 27 , Wins 14 , Losses 12 , Draws 1

Match No.140:Hurricanes v Chiefs
Date : Saturday 30 July 2016
Venue : Westpac Stadium Wellington
Kick Off local: 19:35 local
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Ref 1:Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2:Paul Williams
TMO :Ben Skeen

Teams

Hurricanes

15 James Marshall , 14 Cory Jane , 13 Matt Proctor , 12 Willis Halaholo , 11 Jason Woodward , 10 Beauden Barrett , 9 TJ Perenara (vc) , 8 Victor Vito , 7 Ardie Savea , 6 Brad Shields , 5 Michael Fatialofa , 4 Vaea Fifita , 3 Ben May , 2 Dane Coles (c)/Ricky Riccitelli , 1 Loni Uhila

Replacements: Ricky Riccitelli/Leni Apisai, Chris Eves, Mike Kainga, Mark Abbott, Callum Gibbins, Jamison Gibson Park, Vince Aso, Julian Savea.

Chiefs

1. Kane Hames , 2. Nathan Harris , 3. Atu Moli , 4. Dominic Bird , 5. Brodie Retallick , 6. Taleni Seu , 7. Sam Cane (cc) , 8. Tom Sanders, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10. Aaron Cruden (cc) , 11. James Lowe, 12. Anton Lienert-Brown , 13. Seta Tamanivalu , 14. Sam McNicol, 15. Damian McKenzie

Replacements : 16. Hika Elliot , 17. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 18. Mitchell Graham, 19. Lachlan Boshier, 20. Michael Leitch, 21. Brad Weber , 22. Toni Pulu , 23. Shaun Stevenson