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Highlanders v Hurricanes Super Rugby Rd.2 Preview

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The second Super Rugby match on Saturday could well be the match of the weekend as it is a rematch of the 2015 Super Rugby final.

This time however the Highlanders will have home advantage instead of the Hurricanes as the match will be in Dunedin.

Both teams will be disappointed with their opening round performance as they both lost. The Highlanders were pipped by the Blues in Auckland while the Hurricanes were thumped in Canberra.

The Highlanders have named a team with three changes for the match. Former Crusader Luke Whitelock takes his place at the back of the scrum in his 51st super rugby game and debut for the Highlanders.

Brendon Edmonds who was the starting loosehead last season returns at the expense of Daniel Lienert-Brown who goes to the bench. Number Eight Liam Squire who made a big impression in the first half against the Blues will make his impact from the bench this week.

The withdrawal of Waisake Naholo due to injury provides local boy Matt Faddes with a real chance to stake a claim for the vacant wing berth.

The Hurricanes on the other hand have stuck to the team that were beaten last week and have named an unchanged starting XV. Coach Boyd has made one change to the match day squad however as utility back James Marshall returns to the squad after missing the first round due to the arrival of his first child, replacing Otere Black in the replacements.

The Highlanders have played the Hurricanes 26 times in Super Rugby since 1996 and they have won 12 matches and lost 14. There have been no draws. That gives the Highlanders a record of winning 46% of their matches against the Wellington based Hurricanes.

The Highlanders have played 13 home matches against the Hurricanes and they have won 6 matches and lost 7 times. This gives them a record of winning 46% of their home matches. The average score when the Highlanders host the Hurricanes is Highlanders 22 Hurricanes 25.

Out of the last four matches in Dunedin the Highlanders have won just one and on their last visit the Hurricanes won 13-20.

The Hurricanes will be more upset about last week’s loss than the Highlanders as they were a lot further off the pace. This will be the Highlanders first match at home since they won their title so support should be at an all time high in Dunedin.

The Bookies have given the Hurricanes a 5 point start for this Match – with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Hurricanes were well off their best last week and to turn it around so quickly would be a lot to ask. The Highlanders should win this by 6.

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

Average score: Highlanders 22 Hurricanes 25

Last five results
04 Jul 2015 Final Highlanders v Hurricanes 21-14 Wellington
05 Jun 2015 Highlanders v Hurricanes 20-56 Wellington
20 Mar 2015 Highlanders v Hurricanes 13-20 Dunedin
16 May 2014 Highlanders v Hurricanes 18-16 Wellington
21 Mar 2014 Highlanders v Hurricanes 35-31 Dunedin

Highlanders overall record against the Hurricanes
Played 26, Wins 12, Losses 14, Draws 0

Match No.13: Highlanders v Hurricanes
Date : Saturday 5 March 2016
Venue : Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick Off local: 19:35 local
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1:Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 2:Brendon Pickerill
TMO : Chris Wratt

Teams

Highlanders

1. Brendon Edmonds , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Josh Hohneck , 4. Tom Franklin , 5. Joe Wheeler , 6. Elliot Dixon , 7. Shane Christie ( cc) , 8. Luke Whitelock , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Patrick Osborne , 12. Teihorangi Walden , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Matt Faddes , 15. Ben Smith ( cc )

Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon , 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 18. Siosiua Halanukonuka , 19. Liam Squire , 20. Dan Pryor , 21. Josh Renton , 22. Hayden Parker , 23. Jason Emery

Hurricanes

Nehe Milner-Skudder/James Marshall, Cory Jane, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (c), Victor Vito, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Mark Abbott, Blade Thomson, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Leni Apisai, Reggie Goodes.

Replacements: Ricky Riccitelli, Chris Eves, Loni Uhila, Vaea Fifita, Callum Gibbins, Jamison Gibson-Park, James Marshall/Jason Woodward, Willis Halaholo.

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