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Chiefs v Highlanders Rd.11 Super Rugby Preview

Waisake Naholo slips past the Chiefs

Waisake Naholo slips past the Chiefs

The second Super Rugby match on Saturday in Round 11 is in Hamilton where the current leaders the Chiefs host the current Champions the Highlanders.

The Chiefs head into this match as one of two form teams in Super Rugby and they (and the Crusaders) are unbeaten in seven straight matches.

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The Highlanders have had some mixed fortunes in recent matches. They suffered losses either side of their bye but got back to winning ways again last week by beating the Brumbies.

Those two losses have hit the Highlanders hard and they have dropped to fourth place in the New Zealand Conference and fifth place in the Australasian Group.

The Chiefs have played the Highlanders 26 times in Super Rugby and they have won 15 matches and lost 11. This gives the Chiefs a record of winning 58% of their matches against the Highlanders.

The Chiefs have hosted the Highlanders in 13 matches and they have won 8 and lost five. This gives the Hamilton side a record of winning 62 % of their home matches against the men from Dunedin.

The average score when the Chiefs host the Highlanders is Chiefs 24 Highlanders 19.

The Chiefs have made two changes for this week. Winger James Lowe and influential second five-eighth Charlie Ngatai both return from injury to start against the Highlanders.

There are changes on the replacements bench as Michael Allardice and Maama Vaipulu also return from injury to re-join the 23.

The Highlanders have been given a boost for this match as Waisake Naholo has recovered from a broken leg and comes straight into the starting line up.

The wingers return reunites one of the most exciting back threes in the game and his return coincides with a concussion injury to Rob Thompson forces head coach, Jamie Joseph, to reshuffle his back-line.

Utility back, Matt Faddes, will get his first start at centre after previously playing on the wing and at fullback and Malakai Fekitoa moves to second-five.

The timely return of Marty Banks from injury sees him take the place of an unlucky Hayden Parker who sustained a season ending knee injury at training last week.

In the forwards, co-captain Shane Christie will be side-lined for a few weeks with a hamstring injury. He is replaced at open side by Dan Pryor, Luke Whitelock returns at eight with James Lentjes making his first appearance for the season on the bench this week.

The Highlanders have won four out of the last five matches between the sides but just two out of the last five in Hamilton.

The Bookies have given the Highlanders a 7 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. This match should be a close one but with home advantage the Chiefs should win it. The Chiefs should win by 4.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ (Sky), Aus (Fox Sports), SA (SuperSport) and in the UK on Sky Sports 2.

Average score: Chiefs 23 Highlanders 22

Last five results
20 Jun 2015 (Elimination) Chiefs v Highlanders 14-24 Dunedin
30 May 2015 Chiefs v Highlanders 9-36 Dunedin
06 Mar 2015 Chiefs v Highlanders 17-20 Hamilton
27 Jun 2014 Chiefs v Highlanders 25-29 Dunedin
01 Mar 2014 Chiefs v Highlanders 21-19 Hamilton

Chiefs overall record against the Highlanders
Played 26 , Wins 15 , Losses 11, Draws 0

Match No.82:Chiefs v Highlanders
Date : Saturday 7 May 2016
Venue : FMG Stadium, Hamilton
Kick Off local: 19:35 local
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1:Chris Pollock
Assistant Ref 2:Angus Mabey
TMO : Shane McDermott



1. Mitchell Graham , 2. Hika Elliot , 3. Hiroshi Yamashita , 4. Dominic Bird , 5. Brodie Retallick , 6. Taleni Seu , 7. Sam Cane (cc), 8. Michael Leitch ,, 9. Brad Weber, 10. Aaron Cruden (cc), 11. James Lowe , 12. Charlie Ngatai , 13. Seta Tamanivalu , 14. Toni Pulu , 15. Damian McKenzie

Replacements : 16. Nathan Harris , 17. Siate Tokolahi, 18. Kane Hames, 19. Michael Allardice, 20. Maama Vaipulu , 21. Kayne Hammington , 22. Anton Lienert-Brown , 23. Sam Vaka


1. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2. Ash Dixon, 3. Josh Hohneck, 4. Alex Ainley, 5. Tom Franklin, 6. Elliot Dixon, 7. Dan Pryor, 8. Luke Whitelock, 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Lima Sopoaga, 11. Patrick Osborne, 12. Malakai Fekitoa, 13. Matt Faddes, 14. Waisake Naholo, 15. Ben Smith (c)

Replacements : 16. Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17. Aki Seiuli, 18. Siosiua Halanukonuka, 19. James Lentjes, 20. Gareth Evans, 21. Fumiaki Tanaka, 22. Marty Banks, 23. Teihorangi Walden



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