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PREVIEW: Blues v Jaguares

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Thursday, April 26, 2018    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images

Match details: Blues v Jaguares, 7.35pm, Eden Park, April 28, 2018.

Played: 1
Won: Blues 24-16 Jaguares
Last time: Blues 24-16 Jaguares, Eden Park, March 2, 2016

FORM

Still looking for their first home win of the season, after losses to the Chiefs (27-27), the Sharks (40-63) and the Highlanders (16-34), the Blues have beaten the Lions (38-35) and the Sunwolves (24-10) both away while other losses have been to the Highlanders (34-41), the Stormers (20-37) and the Chiefs (19-21). The Jaguares lost their first three games against the Stormers (20-38), the Lions (27-47) and the Hurricanes (9-34) and later to the Reds (7-18) and the Crusaders (14-40) but they beat the Waratahs (38-28), the Lions (49-35), the Rebels (25-22) and the Brumbies (25-20) – the last two on the road.

MATERA OUT

Missing from the Jaguares will be captain and loose forward Pablo Matera who suffered a shoulder injury against the Brumbies and who was forced to return home for an assessment. Javier Ortega Desio has transferred from No.8 and Leonardo Senatore will start at the back of the scrum. Lock Guido Peti is back in the starting lineup with Tomas Lavanini on the reserves bench. Martin Landajo will start at halfback while Bautista Delguy will start on the right wing as the result of Ramiro Moyano suffering a concussion against the Brumbies.

STATISTICAL BOOST

If the statistics are to be believed, the Blues should have this done and dusted. That is even taking into account the changes in personnel the Blues have had due to injuries. In carries the Blues are ahead with 138 to 118.2, in metres made they have 500.3 to 405.4, in clean breaks they are ahead 12.3 to 10.7 on average while in defenders beaten they have 30.6 to 23.6. In offloads the Blues have 14.4 to 7.0 on average while the Jaguares have been forced to make more tackles 119.7 per game as opposed to 94.9 by the Blues, who have fewer missed tackles at 22.8 compared to 27.3 by the Jaguares. The Blues have also conceded fewer penalties at 8.9/10.3 and they have conceded less turnovers at 15.9/16.6. Also, given the Jaguares previous strength in set-pieces, the Blues have 89 percent lineout success compared to 81 for the Jaguares while the scrum success favours the home side 95 to 82.

THE SCOOP

The Jaguares have found it a problem scoring a first-half try in four of their last six games against New Zealand sides – the message is simple for the Blues, deny them again in Auckland and they will make life more difficult for the visitors.

FAST FACT

The Jaguares go into the game having four of their last six games, including their last two. The only time they have done better was a three-game stretch last season. (OPTA)

TEAMS:

Blues: 1.Pauliasi Manu, 2.James Parsons (captain), 3.Sione Mafileo, 4.Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5.Josh Goodhue, 6.Dalton Papalii, 7.Kara Pryor, 8.Akira Ioane; 9.Jonathan Ruru, 10.Stephen Perofeta, 11.Tumua Manu, 12.Rieko Ioane, 13.Orbyn Leger, 14.Jordan Hyland, 15.Matt Duffie.

Substitutes: 16.Leni Apisai, 17.Ross Wright, 18.Mike Tamoaieta, 19.Ben Nee-Nee, 20.Lyndon Dunshea, 21.Augustine Pulu, 22.Dan Kirkpatrick, 23.Terrence Hepetema.

Jaguares: 1.Santiago Garcia Botty, 2.Agustin Creevy, 3.Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 4.Guido Petti, 5.Matias Alemanno, 6.Javier Ortega Desio, 7.Marcos Kremer, 8.Leonardo Senatore, 9.Martin Landajo, 10.Nicolas Sanchez, 11.Emiliano Boffelli, 12.Jeronimo de la Fuente, 13.Matias Orlando, 14.Bautista Delguy, 15.Joaquin Tuculet.

Sumstitutes: 16.Julian Montoya, 17.Javier Diaz, 18.Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19.Tomas Lavanini, 20.Tomas Lezana, 21.Gonzalo Bertranou, 22.Bautista Ezcurra, 23.Sebastian Cancelliere.