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Waratahs v Hurricanes Rd.16 Super Rugby Preview

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The second Super Rugby match on Saturday in Round 16 is in Sydney where the Waratahs host the Hurricanes in a crucial match for both teams.

Both teams are still in contention for the play offs but a loss this week could prove to be fatal for either side but more so for the Waratahs.

The Waratahs are in 9th place overall and currently outside of the play off places solely because the Brumbies have won one more match than them. They are level on points with the Brumbies and are 3 points better off in the points differential but as the Brumbies have won 9 matches and the Waratahs 8 the Canberra side lead the Australian Conference.

Given how close the teams are at the top of Australasian Group it looks likely that only one Australian team will go through to the play offs. There is however a chance for a second to go through as next week the Crusaders play the Hurricanes and the Highlanders play the Chiefs and two of the teams could be knocked out and allow the Waratahs to slip through.

The last two matches between the Waratahs and the Hurricanes have both been won by the Waratahs so they will have some confidence for this match especially since they are playing at home.

Overall the Waratahs have played the Hurricanes 20 times in Super Rugby and they have won 10 and lost 10. In Sydney specifically the teams have met 10 times and in those matches the Waratahs have won 7 or 70% of their home matches.

The Waratahs have also won four three out of the last four matches in Sydney. The average score when the Waratahs play the Hurricanes in Sydney is : Waratahs 29 Hurricanes 23.

For this match the Waratahs have made five changes to the side that beat the Sunwolves in Japan last week. No.8 Wycliff Palu makes a return to the starting side and joins Dean Mumm and Team Captain, Michael Hooper in the loose forwards.

Club Captain, Dave Dennis will pair up with Will Skelton in the second row, while in the backs, Matt Carraro returns to the starting XV, joining Taqele Naiyaravoro on the wing.

Jack Dempsey, Matt Lucas and Reece Robinson will provide welcome support off the bench as they did last week in Japan. Dean Mumm will play 100th Super Rugby game this weekend, while Matt Carraro will celebrate his 50th Super Rugby and NSW Waratahs match.

The Hurricanes have made a number of changes for this match with midfielder Willis Halaholo and tighthead prop Chris Eves coming into the starting line up. Eves comes into the starting team for Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, who broke his arm during the Hurricanes 37-27 win over the Blues, while Halaholo earns a promotion from the reserves after Vince Aso was ruled out with a calf strain.

Experienced prop Ben May and midfielder Ngani Laumape, who has recovered from a groin strain, come into the reserves, while openside Callum Gibbins returns to the squad after skipping the Blues match due to concussion.

The Hurricanes have played two matches against Australian teams this season and they have won both. The Waratahs have played New Zealand teams twice this year and they have won one and lost one.

The Bookies have given the Hurricanes a 1 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. This will be a close one. The Hurricanes have performed marginally better this season but the Waratahs have won their last three matches at home and are desperate. With home advantage the Waratahs should edge this by one.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ (Sky), Aus (Fox Sports), SA (SuperSport) and in the UK on Sky Sports 4.

Average score: Waratahs 25 Hurricanes 24

Last five results
18 Apr 2015 Waratahs v Hurricanes 29-24 Wellington
03 May 2014 Waratahs v Hurricanes 39-30 Sydney
06 Apr 2013 Waratahs v Hurricanes 29-41 Wellington
02 Jun 2012 Waratahs v Hurricanes 12-33 Sydney
14 May 2010 Waratahs v Hurricanes 32-16 Sydney

Waratahs overall record against the Hurricanes
Played 20, Wins 10 , Losses 10 , Draws 0

Match No.122:Waratahs v Hurricanes
Date : Saturday 9 July 2016
Venue : Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick Off local: 19:45 local
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Ref 1:Andrew Lees
Assistant Ref 2: James Leckie
TMO :Ian Smith

Teams

Waratahs

Paddy Ryan , Tatafu Polota-Nau , Tom Robertson , David Dennis (VC), Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Michael Hooper (C), Wycliff Palu , Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Matt Carraro , Rob Horne, Israel Folau, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Andrew Kellaway ,

Replacements: Hugh Roach , Jeremy Tilse , Angus Ta’avao, Sam Lousi , Jack Dempsey, Matt Lucas, David Horwitz, Reece Robinson

Hurricanes

15 James Marshall , 14 Cory Jane , 13 Matt Proctor , 12 Willis Halaholo , 11 Julian Savea , 10 Beauden Barrett , 9 TJ Perenara (vc) , 8 Victor Vito , 7 Ardie Savea , 6 Brad Shields , 5 Michael Fatialofa , 4 Vaea Fifita , 3 Chris Eves , 2 Dane Coles (c) , 1 Reggie Goodes

Replacements: Ricky Riccitelli, Ben May, Loni Uhila, Mark Abbott, Callum Gibbins, Jamison Gibson Park, Willis Halaholo, Jason Woodward.

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