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PREVIEW: Hurricanes v Chiefs

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018    allblacks.com    Getty Images


Match details:
Hurricanes v Chiefs, 7.35pm Friday 13 April, Westpac Stadium, Wellington. TICKETS.

Last time: Hurricanes 14, Chiefs 17 (9 June 2017)

Played: 30
Won: Hurricanes 15, Chiefs 14
Drawn: 1

FORM

There’s very little to separate these teams on the points table and statistically. Both teams have won five and lost one with the Hurricanes picking up two more bonus points than the Chiefs. The Hurricanes have scored 27 tries to the Chiefs 26 and are evenly matched on most of the attacking statistics. One area that the Chiefs have over the Hurricanes is clean breaks where the Chiefs have made 110 clean breaks compared to the Hurricanes 80. 
QUICK TAP: CHIEFS GIVE MCKENZIE EVERY CHANCE TO PLAY 

WING BATTLE
Two of the form wings in Super Rugby will go head to head when Ben Lam and Solomon Alaimalo line up in a tantalising battle. Ben Lam has been a revelation for the Hurricanes with a competition-leading eight tries so far this season. He has impressed with his startling pace and powerful finishing ability. For the Chiefs, Alaimalo has been the catalyst to much of their attack. He leads the competition in clean breaks with 20 and has carried the most metres of any player with 526 metres carried. With the weather clearing in Wellington after a wet week, expect the two speedsters to get plenty of opportunities to showcase their talents out wide.
FAST FACT
Six of the last seven games between the Hurricanes and Chiefs have been decided by a margin of eight points or fewer. (Opta)

THE SCOOP
After a hard fought win over the Sharks last weekend, the Hurricanes will be boosted by the return of star first five-eighth Beauden Barrett and eager to continue their strong run of 16 victories from their last 17 matches on home turf. The Chiefs will be sweating on the form of pivot Damian McKenzie who has been bracketed with brother Marty. With another tight New Zealand derby on the cards, the potential absence of Damian McKenzie will be a heavy blow for the Chiefs. Expect this match to be decided by no more than a handful of points whichever way it goes.

TEAMS
Hurricanes:
Jordie Barrett, Vince Aso, Matt Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, Jamie Booth, Gareth Evans, Sam Henwood, Brad Shields (c) Sam Lousi, Vaea Fifita, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Ricky Riccitelli, Toby Smith
Reserves: James O'Reilly, Chris Eves, Ben May, Michael Fatialofa, Reed Prinsep, Richard Judd, Ihaia West, Wes Goosen

Chiefs: Charlie Ngatai (c), Sean Wainui, Anton Lienert-Brown, Johnny Fa’auli, Solomon Alaimalo, Damian McKenzie/Marty McKenzie, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Taleni Seu, Sam Cane (C), Lachlan Boshier, Tyler Ardon/Michael Allardice, Brodie Retallick, Angus Ta’avao-Matau, Nathan Harris, Aidan Ross
Reserves: Liam Polwart, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Jeff Thwaites, Luke Jacobsen, Liam Messam, Jonathan Taumateine, Marty McKenzie/Tiaan Falcon, Alex Nankivell