With just the one game this week, we get treated to an all Kiwi clash with the Hurricanes hosting the Chiefs.
Friday, June 9
Hurricanes ($1.42) v Chiefs ($2.85), Westpac Stadium, Wellington 5:35pm (AEST)
Key stat (Opta Stats)
The Chiefs have won five of their last eight regular season games against the Hurricanes, including each of the last two; never before in Super Rugby history have they beaten the Wellington side more than twice on the bounce.
Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett; Nehe Milner-Skudder, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea; Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara; Ardie Savea, Callum Gibbins, Brad Shields; Vaea Fifita, Sam Lousi; Jeff To'omaga-Allen, Leni Apisai, Chris Eves. Replacements: Ricky Ricciteli/ James O'Reilly, Loni Uhila, Mike Kainga, Mark Abbott, Reed Prinsep, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Matt Proctor, Wes Goosen.
Chiefs: Damian McKenzie, Solomon Alaimalo, Anton Lienert-Brown, Charlie Ngatai, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden (co-c), Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Messam, Sam Cane (co-c), Mitchell Brown, Michael Allardice, Dominic Bird, Nepo Laulala, Nathan Harris, Kane Hames. Replacements: Liam Polwart, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Atu Moli, Tom Sanders, Lachlan Boshier, Finlay Christie, Alex Nankivell, Shaun Stevenson.
Hurricanes wing Julian Savea will start in his 100th Super Rugby match when he returns to the wing in place of Ben Lam in one of six changes to the team. The changes also include the return of Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ardie Savea to the starting team, as well as an all new front row of Chris Eve, Leni Apisai and Jeffery To'omaga-Allen.
The Chiefs have made three changes to the side that disposed of the Waratahs, the biggest of which sees Charlie Ngatai return in midfield. It is a welcome sight, too, given the veteran centre's long battle with concussion. The other two changes are split one each across the backs and forwards, with Solomon Alaimano replacing Toni Pulu on the wing and Michael Allardice coming in at lock for Brodie Retallick.
UBET verdict: The Hurricanes have now won 12 in a row at home, and will be looking for another win to finish 2nd in the NZ Conference.They have piled on the points at home this season averaging 51 points per game, while conceding only 16.5 points. Both had solid wins against mediocre opposition last week, but the early money with UBET is for the Canes to maintain that terrific home record.
Tips: Sam Bruce - Hurricanes