Shaun Goosen takes a look at the Super Rugby Aotearoa round 1 encounter between Blues and Hurricanes which takes place on Sunday the 14th of June at Eden Park.
Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 1
Blues v Hurricanes
05h35 Sunday 14 June
To Win (80 mins)
Blues 5/10, Draw 20/1, Hurricanes 16/10
Blues (-5.5) 9/10, Hurricanes (+5.5) 9/10
The Blues will be relying on the presence of Beauden Barrett to power them to their second win over the Hurricanes in 2020 at Eden Park on Sunday.
The 29-year-old former Cane is set to debut for his new employers this weekend and will look to ignite a side that already triumphed 24-15 in Wellington in March – the Auckland franchise’s first win over the men in yellow since 2014.
While Blues fans may have to wait a while before Dan Carter’s first appearance, the sight of finally seeing Beaudy in blue should be enough for now. The aura he brings to the paddock is unrivalled in the game and one would expect him to hold nothing back coming up against former teammates TJ Perenara, Ngani Laumape and co.
Meanwhile, Jason Holland’s men are believed to welcome Ardie Savea back into the fold in some form on Sunday. The physicality and zing he brings will lift all those around him after what has been an indifferent season for the 2016 Super Rugby champions so far.
Verdict: Blues to clear handicap
After such a long period of no play, the side that executes the basics best should come out on top, while fitness will be a key issue too. That said, something special seems to be happening in Auckland so back the Blues to take this one by seven or more.