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Hurricanes v Force Super Rugby Rd.4 Preview

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The fourth round in Super Rugby kicks off at the Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North where the Hurricanes host the Western Force.

Last week the Hurricanes earned their first victory of the 2016 season by beating the Blues 19-23 at Eden Park taking them to a played three and won one record.

The Force have the same record but they will be coming off a loss as they were beaten 14-31 by the Brumbies last week.

After that loss the Force have made six changes for this match and coach Michael Foley has brought in Wallaby prop Tetera Faulkner to help shore up the scrum.

Veteran flyhalf Peter Grant will make his first start in the Western Force jersey after coming off the bench in the opening rounds. Grant starts for Jono Lance who has gone down with a pectoral injury suffered in last week’s meeting with the Brumbies.

In further changes to the run-on side, Nathan Charles returns to start at hooker, Angus Cottrell has been selected for his first start of the season at blind side flanker, Marcel Brache comes onto the left wing for Luke Morahan and Alby Mathewson will wear No.9 against his former side.

The Hurricanes suffered a heavy blow in the run up to this match as Nehe Milner-Skudder has been ruled out for the rest of the season. He joins blindside Brad Shields, prop Reggie Goodes, and hooker Leni Apisai who were all ruled out due to injury although the latter to a lesser extent.

On the more positive side Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd has been able to start Dan Coles for the first time this season and he is one of four changes to the side that beat the Blues. Milner-Skudder has been replaced by Cory Jane.

There are two changes in the front row where Coles replaces Apisai in the No 2 jersey and Chris Eves takes over at loose head from Goodes. Apisai and Goodes have both been rested after coming off the field for concussion testing during the Hurricanes last match.

Vaea Fifita takes over at blindside from Shields, who misses the match due to a lacerated thumb.

The Hurricanes have played the Force 9 times since 2006 and the Canes have won 8 matches and lost one which gives them a record of winning 89% of their matches against the Force.

The Hurricanes have hosted the Western Force in five of those 9 matches and they have won all five. The average score when the Hurricanes host the Force is : Hurricanes 31 Force 16

Wellington’s Hurricanes made an awful start to the new season against the Brumbies but they appear to have turned that around and have been improving week on week while the Force are still adjusting to their new game plan.

The Bookies have given the Force a 17 point start for this Match – with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Force don’t travel well against the Hurricanes who should win this comfortably by 12.

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

Average score: Hurricanes 32 Force 18

Last five results
27 Feb 2015 Hurricanes v Force 42-13 Perth
19 Apr 2013 Hurricanes v Force 22-16 Wellington
09 Mar 2012 Hurricanes v Force 46-19 Perth
27 May 2011 Hurricanes v Force 34-28 Palmerston North
20 Feb 2010 Hurricanes v Force 47-22 Wellington

Hurricanes overall record against the Force
Played 9 , Wins 8, Losses 1, Draws 0

Match No.25:Hurricanes v Force
Date : Friday 18 March 2016
Venue : Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North
Kick Off local: 19:35 local
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 1:Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride
TMO : Shane McDermott

Teams

Hurricanes

15 James Marshall , 14 Cory Jane , 13 Vince Aso , 12 Ngani Laumape , 11 Julian Savea , 10 Beauden Barrett , 9 TJ Perenara , 8 Victor Vito , 7 Ardie Savea , 6 Vaea Fifita , 5 Mark Abbott , 4 Blade Thomson , 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen , 2 Dane Coles (c) , 1 Chris Eves

Replacements: Ricky Riccitelli, Loni Uhila, Ben May, Michael Fatialofa, Callum Gibbins, Jamison Gibson-Park, Willis Halaholo, Jason Woodward.

Western Force

1. Pekahou Cowan , 2. Nathan Charles , 3. Tetera Faulkner , 4. Ross Haylett-Petty , 5. Adam Coleman , 6. Angus Cottrell , 7. Matt Hodgson , 8. Ben McCalman , 9. Alby Mathewson , 10. Peter Grant , 11. Semisi Masirewa , 12. Solomoni (Junior Rasolea) , 13. Ben Tapuai , 14. Marcel Brache , 15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements : 16. Chris Heiberg , 17. Heath Tessmann , 18. Jermaine Ainsley , 19. Sitiveni (Stevie) Mafi , 20. Brynard Stander , 21. Ryan Louwrens , 22. Ian Prior , 23. Albert Nikoro

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