Preview: Brumbies v Chiefs
Thursday, April 24, 2014 Sportal.co.nz Getty Images
Where: GIO Stadium.
I can view it on: Fox Sports
What did they do last week? The Brumbies had a well-deserved break with the bye week after beating the Reds 23-30 in Round 9. The Chiefs went down by a point, 18-17, to the Crusaders in Hamilton.
Things you need to know:?Wallabies inside-centre Christian Lealiifano comes into the starting side for the first time this year, forcing fellow Test player Pat McCabe to the bench. Lock Sam Carter is back from a knee injury. The Brumbies have won six of their last seven games. They are first on the Aussie conference ladder and second overall. The Chiefs have made six changes to the starting line-up and four changes to the bench. Mahonri Schwalger starts at hooker while lock Ross Filipo gets his first start of the year. Nick Crosswell and Sam Cane are the flankers with Liam Messam moving to No 8 and Augustine Pulu coming in at halfback. The Chiefs have managed just one win in their past four games – they drew both of their matches in South Africa against the Cheetahs and Bulls. They are top of the New Zealand conference and third overall.
Reason to watch:The Chiefs are probably the best team to watch in the comp and the Brumbies are playing a more expansive game under Stephen Larkham than they did under Jake White. It's a grand-final rematch and it's being played on Anzac Day so it will be a cracker, guaranteed.
Reason to worry:There's no worries. It's a grand-final rematch, don't even blink.
Say what:"I think we're in a slightly better position than we were last year. The Chiefs are still the pinnacle in Super Rugby in terms of finishing a game off well and that's what we're striving to get better at," - Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham.
Final instructions:The Brumbies are still stinging from last year's Super Rugby final loss to the Chiefs. In that game they led 22-12 with 17 minutes to go before the hosts stormed home to claim back-to-back titles with a 27-22 win. The Chiefs have won the past two clashes between these two but have lost on their previous two trips to Canberra. The Brumbies' recent form is slightly better and they are at home, but after an Anzac toss of the coin we'll stick with the reigning champs. Chiefs by five.
Brumbies:1.Scott Sio, 2.Stephen Moore, 3.Ben Alexander, 4.Scott Fardy, 5.Sam Carter, 6.Jordan Smiler, 7.Jarrad Butler, 8.Ben Mowen (captain), 9.Nic White, 10.Matt Toomua, 11.Robbie Coleman, 12.Christian Lealiifano, 13.Tevita Kuridrani, 14.Joe Tomane, 15.Jesse Mogg.
Reserves: 16.Siliva Siliva, 17.Ruan Smith, 18.JP Smith, 19.Jack Whetton, 20.Tom McVerry, 21.Michael Dowsett, 22.Andrew Smith, 23.Pat McCabe.
Chiefs:1.Pauliasi Manu, 2.Mahonri Schwalger, 3.Ben Tameifuna, 4.Ross Filipo, 5.Brodie Retallick, 6.Nick Crosswell, 7.Sam Cane, 8.Liam Messam (captain), 9.Augustine Pulu, 10.Gareth Anscombe, 11.Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12.Bundee Aki, 13.Andrew Horrell, 14.Tim Nanai-Williams, 15.Tom Marshall.
Reserves: 16.Nathan Harris, 17.Jamie Mackintosh, 18.Josh Hohneck, 19.Matt Symons, 20.Tevita Koloamatangi, 21.Brad Weber, 22.Dwayne Sweeney, 23.James Lowe.
Referee: Steve Walsh
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