Super Rugby Quarter-Final: Hurricanes v Chiefs Preview

Super Rugby Quarter Final: Hurricanes v Chiefs

After suffering a four-point loss to the same opponents in the final regular round of Super Rugby action last week, the Hurricanes will be determined to make amends with a much-improved showing in the weekend’s first Semi-final Qualifier on Friday, writes Shaun Goosen.

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Hurricanes v Chiefs
20 July 09h35
Westpac Stadium, Wellington

To Win (80 Mins)
Hurricanes 11/20
Draw 25/1
Chiefs 29/20

Handicap
Hurricanes (-4.5) 9/10
Chiefs (+4.5) 9/10


Last week in Hamilton, the 'Canes fell behind early on through three converted Chiefs tries. Despite coming back to eventually go down 24-28, the manner in which Chris Boyd’s charges conceded the early scores provided much cause for concern.

Call it late-season fatigue, but the likes of maestro Beauden Barrett and his lieutenants looked severely depleted before their eventual late charge. With a lack of synergy in midfield and a poor breakdown performance, there was no way the Chiefs were going to miss out.

Nevertheless, they did battle back and to lose by just four points is testament to the Hurricanes’ phenomenal potential. Playing in Wellington this week, and with several key performers set for a return to the starting lineup, they will be more determined than ever to put one over their fellow Kiwis and progress to the semis.

The Chiefs, though, will welcome back Sam Cane to the fray after he missed out last week. His presence, particularly at the tackle point, will add even further fuel to what is already a seriously impressive rugby outfit.

The Hamiltonian's will be confident after their showing in Round 19. While they will realize the dangers of facing the 2016 champions on their home turf, they will back themselves having finished just two points behind them on the overall log with the same amount of victories (11 out of 16).

Squads

Hurricanes – 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Jordie Barrett, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Gareth Evans, 6 Brad Shields/Reed Prinsep, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith.
Subs: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Reed Prinsep/Sam Henwood, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Wes Goosen/Jonah Lowe.

Chiefs – 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Charlie Ngatai (c), 11 Shaun Stevenson, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Subs: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Mitch Karpik, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Alex Nankivell.

Verdict: Hurricanes (-4.5) 9/10 
Toughie, but I’m going for the favourites. At home, and after last week’s questionable antics, they should put in an assured display to progress to the last four. The Chiefs are perhaps another season away from properly contesting for the title.


Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets

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