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Blues v Force Super Rugby Preview

Out of the last five Super Rugby matches between the Auckland based Blues and
the Perth based Western Force the Auckland side have won four and one match
was drawn.

Overall the Blues have played the Force 8 times since they joined Super Rugby
in 2006 through the Super 14 and the Blues have won 6 matches, lost one and
drawn one.

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That gives the Blues a record of winning 75% of their matches against the Western
Force. The average score when these teams meet regardless of the venue is Blues
31 Western Force 15.

This weekend the match will be played in Auckland which is home for the Blues
and where the teams have met on three occasions.

The Blues have had home advantage against the Force on four occasions as in
2008 the Blues held the match in North Harbour. That match was won 17-27 by
the Force.

In the Blues three matches against the Force in Auckland the Blues have won
all three with an average score of Blues 36 Western Force 11.

The match in North Harbour is the Perth side’s only victory over the Blues.

This year the Blues have played 10 matches so far and they have won one. At
home in Auckland they have played one match and they won the match.

In comparison the Force have played 10 matches so far and they have won one
match as well. The Force have played 6 matches away from home and won one.

In terms of selection the Blues have been able to bring All Blacks Jerome Kaino
and Charles Piutau back for this week. Kaino’s return is as captain and Luke
Braid returns through the bench.

Teenager star Akira Ioane retains his starting spot with Lolagi Visinia rewarded
with a strong game at fullback last week, moving to the right wing.

Lock Josh Bekhuis and midfield back George Moala are carrying niggling injuries
and have been bracketed with a final decision on their availability closer to
the match.

The Force have retained the starting team that played last week against the
Chiefs with the exception of scrumhalf as South African Ryan Louwrens starts
in the No.9 jersey.

Lock Adam Coleman has been bracketed with Wilhelm Steenkamp after sustaining
a knock to his shoulder against the Chiefs. Ross Haylett-Petty has been bracketed
on the bench is Steenkamp is promoted to the starting line up.

The Bookies
have given the Force a 9 point start for this Match
– with an
offer of a FREE $150 BET.
Both teams have had disappointing
seasons and only managed to win one match. The Blues will however have home
advantage in Auckland where they are unbeaten in 2015. The
Blues should win this by 6.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 3/HD.

Average score: Blues 31 Western Force 15

Last five results
28 Jun 2014 Blues v Force 40-14 Perth
07 Jul 2012 Blues v Force 32-9 Auckland
12 Mar 2011 Blues v Force 22-22 Perth
17 Apr 2010 Blues v Force 38-17 Auckland
13 Feb 2009 Blues v Force 25-19 Perth

Blues overall record against the Force
Played 8 , Wins 6 , Losses 1, Draws 1

Match No.74:Blues v Force
Date : Saturday 2 May 2015
Venue : Eden Park, Auckland
Kick Off local: 17:30 local, 15:30 AEST, 07:30 SAST
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1:Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 2:Paul Williams
TMO :Ben Skeen



1.Tony Woodcock, 2. Keven Mealamu, 3. Charlie Faumuina, 4. Josh Bekhuis/Culum
Retallick, 5. Hayden Triggs, 6. Akira Ioane, 7. Brendon O’Connor, 8. Jerome
Kaino (c), 9. Jimmy Cowan, 10. Dan Bowden, 11. Melani Nanai, 12. George Moala/Hamish
Northcott, 13. Francis Saili, 14. Lolagi Visinia, 15 Charles Piutau

Replacements : , 16. James Parsons, 17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18. Angus Ta’avao,
19. Steven Luatua, 20. Luke Braid, 21. Jamison Gibson-Park, 22. Ihaia West,
23. Hamish Northcott/Tevita Li

Western Force

1. Pekahou Cowan , 2. Nathan Charles , 3. Tetera Faulkner , 4. Steve Mafi ,
5. Adam Coleman/Wilhelm Steenkamp , 6. Angus Cottrell , 7. Matt Hodgson (c)
, 8. Ben McCalman , 9. Ryan Louwrens , 10. Sias Ebersohn , 11. Nick Cummins
, 12. Luke Burton , 13. Kyle Godwin , 14. Luke Morahan , 15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements : 16. Heath Tessmann , 17. Chris Heiberg , 18. Guy Millar , 19.
Wilhelm Steenkamp/Ross Haylett-Petty , 20. Kane Koteka , 21. Justin Turner ,
22. Marcel Brache , 23. Junior Rasolea

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