The battle for third spot on the New Zealand log gets Saturday Super Rugby started, as the Hurricanes host the Highlanders in what is sure to be an entertaining match. Both these teams will have that sixth play-off spot firmly in their sights.
The Hurricanes have shown class this season, with an amazingly talented backline able to score tries from anywhere on the park, combined with the kicking boot of Beauden Barrett and a solid pack, this team is hitting decent form at the right time of the season. Keep an eye on South African born Reggie Goodes making his starting debut.
The Highlanders return from their South African tour, battered and bruised after two tough encounters, and will be testing some of their depth over the next few weeks, as they have one of the toughest run-ins to the playoffs.
Hurricanes: 1. Reggie Goodes,2. Dane Coles,3. Ben May,4. Jeremy Thrush,5. Jason Eaton,6. Faifili Levave,7. Karl Lowe,8. Victor Vito,9. TJ Perenara,10. Beauden Barrett,11. Julian Savea,12. Charlie Ngatai / Tim Bateman,13. Conrad Smith (c) ,14. Cory Jane,15. Andre Taylor
Replacements : 16. Motu Matu’u,17. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen,18. Brad Shields,19. Jack Lam,20. Chris Eaton,21. Tusi Pisi / Daniel Kirkpatrick,22. Tim Bateman / Alapati Leiua
Highlanders: 1 Chris King 2 Andrew Hore (c) 3 Ma’afu Fia 4 Josh Bekhuis 5 Jarrad Hoeata 6 Nick Crosswell 7 Adam Thomson 8 Nasi Manu 9 Aaron Smith 10 Mike Delany 11 Hosea Gear 12 Phil Burleigh 13 Tamati Ellison 14 Siale Piutau 15 Ben Smith
Replacements : 16 Jason Rutledge 17 Bronson Murray 18 Culum Retallick 19 Tim Boys 20 Jimmy Cowan 21 Chris Noakes 22 Kenny Lynn
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1:Keith Brown
Assistant Ref 2:Matthew Muir
TMO : Vinny Munro