QUARTERFINAL PREVIEW: Brumbies v Hurricanes
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 allblacks.com Getty Images
MATCH DETAILS: Brumbies v Hurricanes, Friday 21 July, 9.35pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra
Not a lot can be read into the Brumbies 28-10 loss to the Chiefs last week. With the Australian conference title wrapped up, the Brumbies rested a number of key men to ensure they would be in peak condition for the playoffs. The Hurricanes needed a win over the Crusaders last week to avoid a quarterfinal in South Africa. They showed their class with a 31-22 win to inflict the first defeat on the Crusaders all season.
QUICK TAP: HURRICANES WARY OF CANBERRA FORTRESS
BRUMBIES RING CHANGES
The Brumbies have made 10 changes to the side that fell short against the Chiefs last week. The most notable change is the addition of Christian Lealiifano to the bench. Lealiifano will pull on the Brumbies jersey for the first time since being diagnosed with leukaemia 11 months ago. His presence will provide another level of motivation for the Brumbies to become the first Australian team to beat a New Zealand side in 2017.
It’s hard to believe that Jordie Barrett is still in his debut season with the Hurricanes. After establishing himself as the first choice fullback for the Hurricanes, his strong form earned a call-up to the All Blacks. A different challenge awaits this week for Barrett as he subs in at centre for the injured Vince Aso. Barrett filled the role expertly last week at short notice but will face an even bigger battle this week against Brumbies superstar Tevita Kuridrani.
The Brumbies and Hurricanes have met twice previously in knockout play with both sides taking a win each. The Brumbies beat the Hurricanes 33-20 in a 1997 semifinal while the Hurricanes took out the Brumbies 29-9 in a 2015 semifinal.
Brumbies: 15. Tom Banks, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Andrew Smith, 11. James Dargaville, 10. Wharenui Hawera, 9. Joe Powell, 8. Jordan Smiler, 7. Chris Alcock, 6. Scott Fardy, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 2. Josh Mann-Rea, 1. Scott Sio. Reserves: 16. Robbie Abel, 17. Ben Alexander, 18. Les Leuluailii-Makin 19. Blake Enever, 20. Jarrad Butler, 21. Tomas Cubelli, 22. Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23. Christian Lealiifano.
Hurricanes: 15. Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14. Wes Goosen, 13. Jordie Barrett, 12. Ngani Laumape, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. TJ Perenara (c), 8. Brad Shields, 7. Ardie Savea, 6. Vaea Fifita, 5. Sam Lousi, 4. Mark Abbott, 3. Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 2. Ricky Riccitelli, 1. Ben May Reserves: 16. Dane Coles, 17. Chris Eves, 18. Loni Uhila, 19. Reed Prinsep, 20. Callum Gibbins, 21. Te Tairoa Tahuriorangi, 22.Otere Black, 23. Cory Jane.
ROAD TO THE FINAL! Who are YOU picking to make the Investec #SuperRugby final? pic.twitter.com/l7mimSR12o— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) July 18, 2017
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