Saturday Super Rugby action kicks off with what should be a repeat of the showing we saw yesterday morning between the Highlanders and Chiefs. Both teams have players that can change the game in one movement.
The Hurricanes are my personal surprise package for 2013. Their team looks really settled, they have minor changes to their team in the form of Ben Franks coming into the front row. It is the backline though that should do the most damage, in Perenara and Barrett they have a young halfback pairing that should shine, while the likes of Conrad Smith, Julian Savea and Andre Taylor are sure to keep the tries coming.
The Blues have a new coach and a few new players, but in my mind, this is a rebuilding phase for them, and although they have a strong pack, the lack of experience in the backline, and lack of a really good flyhalf, will let the team down.
My money is on the Hurricane to win this morning, and surprise a few this season.
Hurricanes: 15. Andre Taylor, 14. Alapati Leiua, 13. Conrad Smith (c), 12. Tim Bateman, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. TJ Perenara, 8. Brad Shields, 7. Karl Lowe, 6. Victor Vito, 5. Jason Eaton, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 3. Ben May, 2. Dane Coles, 1. Ben Franks
Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon,17. Reggie Goodes,18. Mark Reddish,19. Faifili Levave,20. Chris Smylie,21. James Marshall,22. Reynold Lee-Lo
Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Francis Saili, 11 George Moala, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams (captain), 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tom McCartney.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Angus Ta’avao, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Brendon O’Connor, 20 Bryn Hall, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Jackson Willison.Tweet