Super Rugby

Waratahs v Highlanders Super Rugby Rd.4 Preview

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The second match in Super Rugby Round 4 is in Sydney where the Waratahs host the Highlanders in a rematch of last years Semi-final.

Last year’s Semi-final match between these teams was also played in Sydney and the Highlanders won it and went on to win the title.

The Waratahs had a bye last week and have played two matches this season and have won one and lost one. They lost to the Brumbies in their last outing but beat the Reds

The Highlanders have not had a bye yet and they have played three matches and won two. Having lost their opening match the Highlanders have had back to back wins in recent weeks.

Injuries forced the Highlanders into making changes as Joe Wheeler, Dan Pryor and Luke Whitelock are all sidelined. After a week’s rest Tom Franklin returns to lock the scrum and co-captain Shane Christie starts at open side joining Elliot Dixon and a recovered Liam Squire in the back row.

Mark Reddish is back from injury to take his place on the bench. Ryan Tongia comes in for an injured Patrick Osborne is the only change to the backline.

The Waratahs had hoped to have Bernard Foley back for this match but his return to Super Rugby has been put off for another week and Kurtley Beale starts in the number 10 jersey.

Wycliff Palu Palu comes into the starting line up in the number eight jersey and hooker, Tolu Latu comes in for the injured Tatafu Polota-Nau, after fracturing his arm during the Waratahs’ last match against the Brumbies in round two.

Former NRL flyer, Reece Robinson has been given another chance to make his Super Rugby debut off the bench. Tom Robertson could also make his Super Rugby debut off the bench.

The Waratahs have played the Highlanders 20 times in Super Rugby since 1996 and they have won 13 or 65% of the matches. The Highlanders have however won the last two matches between the teams.

The Waratahs have hosted the Highlanders 10 times and won 7 or 70% of their matches in these clashes. On average the score when these teams meet is Waratahs 29 Highlanders 20.

The Waratahs don’t look as strong as they have in recent years and they will miss Foley. Their scrum will also be heavily tested this week.

The Bookies have given the Highlanders a 2 point start for this Match – with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Highlanders look to be in better form that the Waratahs who could be rusty coming off a bye so early. The Highlanders should sneak this by 2.

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

Average score: Waratahs 25 Highlanders 20

Last five results
27 Jun 2015 Semi Waratahs v Highlanders 17-35 Sydney
14 Mar 2015 Waratahs v Highlanders 19-26 Dunedin
06 Jul 2014 Waratahs v Highlanders 44-16 Sydney
10 Mar 2012 Waratahs v Highlanders 17-18 Dunedin
11 Jun 2011 Waratahs v Highlanders 33-7 Sydney

Waratahs overall record against the Highlanders
Played 20 , Wins 13, Losses 7, Draws 0

Match No.26: Waratahs v Highlanders
Date : Friday 18 March 2016
Venue : Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick Off local: 19:45 local
Referee: Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 1:James Leckie
Assistant Ref 2:Graham Cooper
TMO : Ian Smith

Teams

Waratahs

1. Paddy Ryan ,2. Tolu Latu ,3. Angus Ta’avao ,4. Dean Mumm,5. Will Skelton ,6. David Dennis (VC),7. Michael Hooper (C),8. Wycliff Palu ,9. Nick Phipps ,10. Kurtley Beale,11. Zac Guildford ,12. David Horwitz ,13. Rob Horne ,14. Matt Carraro ,15. Israel Folau

Replacements : 16. Hugh Roach,17. Jeremy Tilse ,18. Tom Robertson *,19. Sam Lousi,20. Jed Holloway ,21. Jack Dempsey ,22. Matt Lucas ,23. Reece Robinson *

*(potential Super Rugby/ NSW debut)

Highlanders

1. Brendon Edmonds , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Siosiua Halanukonuka , 4. Alex Ainley , 5. Tom Franklin , 6. Elliot Dixon , 7. Shane Christie( cc ) , 8. Liam Squire , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Ryan Tongia , 12. Rob Thompson , 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Matt Faddes , 15. Ben Smith ( cc )

Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon , 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 18. Ross Geldenhuys , 19. Mark Reddish , 20. Gareth Evans , 21. Josh Renton , 22. Hayden Parker , 23. Jason Emery

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