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S15 Preview: Round 10, Part One

Wed, 17 Apr 2013 20:04
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The Force will be looking to make it consecutive Kiwi scalps
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The 10th round of Super Rugby will get underway on Friday with two trans-Tasman clashes on either side of the ditch.

The action starts in Wellington where the Hurricanes will take on the Force, who will be looking to make it consecutive Kiwi scalps following their shock voctory over the Crusaders last week.

From there it is off to Sydney where the Chiefs will be out to avoid consecutive defeats against Australian teams when they face the Waratahs.

We take a closer look at the Friday matches:

Hurricanes v Western Force
(Westpac Stadium, Wellington - Kick-off: 19.35 07.35 GMT)

The Force will be high on confidence after taking the Crusaders down in Perth last week, but they will need to show just as much fighting spirit if they are to back it up with a win away from home.

The Hurricanes will be smarting after being taken apart by the Blues last week, so they will be keen to bounce back and score some tries with a bonus point in mind.

The Force showed incredible commitment on defence in their win last week, absorbing just about everything the Crusaders threw at them, but they cannot afford to sit back and defend against a Hurricanes side full of attacking threats.

The Wellington side failed to score a single try against the Blues last week, so expect them to take the game to the Force as they look to regain their finishing touch.

After failing to build any meaningful momentum last week the Hurricanes forward pack have a point to prove, so the focus should be on accuracy as they look to provide some quality possession for their dangerous backline.

Coach Mark Hammett has made a few changes up front, but they will have to do without the services of injured prop Ben May and loose forward Victor Vito as they look to turn things around.

The Force are not the most expansive side in the competition, so their best chance will be to pin the Hurricanes in their own half and pressurise them into making mistakes which they can turn into scoring opportunities.

Prediction: The Force will give it everything once more, but the backlash from the Hurricanes should be too much for them so we are backing the home side to win by ten points.

Teams:

Hurricanes: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Alapati Leiua , 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Chris Smylie, 8 Faifili Levave, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Karl Lowe, 20 TJ Perenara, 21 Reynold Lee-Lo, 22 Andre Taylor.

Western Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Patrick Dellit, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Junior Rasolea, 11 Ed Stubbs, 10 Sam Norton-Knight, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Richard Brown, 7 Matt Hodgson (captain), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Heath Tessmann, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Kieran Longbottom, 18 Rory Walton, 19 Chris Alcock, 20 Mick Snowden, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Alfie Mafi.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Waratahs v Chiefs
(Allianz Stadium, Sydney - Kick-off: 19.40; 09.40 GMT)

The Chiefs will certainly have no lack of motivation when they take on the Waratahs in Sydney.

The defending champions will be intent on getting their season back on track after going down at home to the Reds last week, and they will have to do it at a venue where they have only ever won once.

Coach Dave Rennie has responded to the defeat to the Reds by making a few changes to the team, and with their spot at the top of the New Zealand conference potentially under threat the pressure will be on them to deliver.

Rennie has made two key positional changes with captain Liam Messam moving from No.8 to blindside flank and Richard Kahui shifting to inside centre where he will be closer to the action.

They face a Waratahs side who are fresh off a bye, and with Wallaby forwards Wycliff Palu and Tatafu-Polota-Nau back from injury coach Michael Cheika's side will fancy their chances of getting one over the champions.

The Sydney side have an impressive forward pack, and they would have taken note of the way the Reds were able to shut the Chiefs down in Hamilton last week.

If the Chiefs backline are given a decent platform then they can take any defence apart, so the focus for the Waratahs will be cutting their supply line and forcing them to play from their own half.

Prediction: The Waratahs are always tough to beat at home, as the Chiefs know well, but there is sure to be a major reaction from the Waikato side after last week which is why we are backing them to win by about five points.

Teams:

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Crawford, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements - from: John Ulugia, Paddy Ryan, Mitchell Chapman, Will Skelton, Pat McCutcheon, Matt Lucas, Ben Volavola, Peter Betham.

Chiefs: 15 Andrew Horrell, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (captain), 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Michael Kainga, 18 Nick Crosswell, 19 Tanerau Latimer, 20 August Pulu, 21 Gareth Anscombe, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Angus Gardner (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

By Michael de Vries

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