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PREVIEW: Hurricanes v Reds

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Thursday, May 12, 2016    allblacks.com    Getty Images

ROUND 11: Hurricanes v Reds, Saturday 14 May, 7.35pm, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

TALE OF THE TAPE
The Hurricanes have slipped to fourth in the NZ conference following a mixed tour of South Africa and need a win over the Reds to stay in touch with the leaders. Despite suffering seven losses this season, the Reds took out the Highlanders in round seven to show their danger. Looking at the head-to-head battle between these two sides, the Hurricanes hold the advantage with 13 wins to the Reds 6.

RISING REG
After establishing himself as a dependable loosehead option over the past few years, Reg Goodes has taken his game to the next level this year. Agile around the park, strong on defence and now with an added running game, Goodes is one of the most improved performers in Investec Super Rugby. The South African born prop has also shown a nose for the try-line with tries in the last two matches.
TESTING THE DEPTH
With Julian Savea, Cory Jane, Ardie Savea, Victor Vito and reserve prop Chris Eves all suspended from this match for breaching team protocol, the depth of the Hurricanes will be called into question. There has been shuffling at the back with Jason Woodward and debutant Wes Goosen coming onto the wings. In the loose forwards, Callum Gibbins gets a crack at openside flanker while Blade Thomson slides into number eight.

GOROMARU’S CHANCE
After arriving in Brisbane with much fanfare, Japanese superstar Ayumu Goromaru has struggled for opportunities at the Reds with only one start this year. With Karmichael Hunt under an injury cloud, Goromaru gets a chance in the fifteen jersey. The classy fullback and accurate goal-kicker was one of the stars of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and will be looking to replicate that form in his second start of the year.

BE THERE
The Hurricanes know that every game is a must-win in the log-jammed New Zealand conference and will be keen to dispatch the Reds on their home turf. Get your TICKETS HERE to be part of the action.
TEAMS:
Hurricanes:
15 James Marshall 14 Jason Woodward 13 Matt Proctor 12 Vince Aso 11 Wes Goosen 10 Beauden Barrett: 9 TJ Perenara (vc): 8 Blade Thomson: 7 Callum Gibbins 6 Brad Shields
5 Michael Fatialofa 4 Vaea Fifita 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen 2 Dane Coles (c) 1 Reggie Goodes
Reserves: Motu Matu'u, Lonu Uhila, Ben May, Mark Abbott, Tony Lamborn, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Ngani Laumape, Willis Halaholo.

Reds:
15 Ayumu Goromaru 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia 13 Campbell Magnay 12 Anthony Fainga’a 11 Eto Nabuli 10 Jake McIntyre 9 Nick Frisby 8 Curtis Browning 7 Liam Gill 6 Hendrik Tui 5 Rob Simmons 4 Ben Matwijow 3 Greg Holmes 2 Andrew Ready 1 James Slipper
Reserves: Mathew Mafi, Sef Faagase, Sam Talakai, Caderyn Neville, Michael Gunn, James Tuftle, Duncan Paia’Aua, Lalofi Junior Lalofi