“Houston, well okay, Albany we have ignition.” The last ever season of Super 14 rugby gets underway in Albany this morning. We have been waiting with bated breath, some not bated at all actually, for this to happen. Here we go and as usual Sharksworld will be bringing you live commentary of the matches.
The Blues (9th last season) have a “home” game against the Hurricanes (3rd last season). Why teams give away home advantage to play an away “home” game to keep other smaller unions happy is still something I cannot get used to.
Will the Blues manage to secure only their 2nd win against the Hurricanes since 2004?
Or will the Hurricanes just continue on their merry way?
Superbru global picks thusfar (8pm Thursday night)
Picks for Blues 18312 (55.99%)
Picks for Hurricanes 14361 (43.91%)
Picks for draw 35 (0.11%)
This is a pretty even split actually, what else could we expect at the start of the season though.
Ref: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
ARs: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
Venue: North Harbour Stadium, Albany
Kick-off: 08:35 SA Time (06.35 GMT)
Blues: 15 Rudi Wulf, 14 Rene Ranger, 13 Isaia Toeava, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Viliami Ma’afu, 7 Serge Lilo, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Anthony Boric, 4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (captain), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Charlie Faumuina, 18 Filo Paulo, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 Paul Williams.
Hurricanes: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Tamati Ellison, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Willie Ripia, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Scott Waldrom, 6 Nick Crosswell, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore (captain), 1 John Schwalger.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Bryn Evans, 19 Karl Lowe, 20 Tyson Keats, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 David Smith.