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Super Rugby Preview – Chiefs v Lions

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019    allblacks.com    Getty Images

Match Detail: Chiefs v Lions, FMG Stadium Waikato, 7:35pm, April 19, 2019
Played: 10
Won: Chiefs 7, Lions 3
Last time: Lions won 36-32, at FMG Stadium Waikato, March 5, 2016
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
TICKETS 

FORM
The last time the Lions and Chiefs met, the Lions came away with a 36-32 victory and nabbed their first ever win over the Chiefs in Hamilton. They’ll be looking to do the same on Good Friday at FMG Stadium. After a dreadful start to Super Rugby in 2019, the Chiefs have turned their season around and have won three games on the bounce. On the flip side, the Lions sit at the bottom of the South African conference and they desperately need a win to save their season. The Lions are coming off a 31-20 loss to the Brumbies in Canberra, while the Chiefs are flying high after their thrilling 33-29 win over the Blues in Hamilton. Brad Weber has been named to captain the Chiefs in his 65th match for the Waikato franchise. He slots into the role in the absence of co-captains Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane. Retallick is ruled out with a hand injury sustained against the Blues, while hooker Nathan Harris also sits out with an injured knee.
STATS
This will be the fourth consecutive time that the Chiefs have hosted the Lions, the Chiefs haven’t played the Lions in Johannesburg since Round 10 2011. The Chiefs won that match 34-30. In the Chiefs win over the Blues last week, they lost two scrums on their own feed for the first time since Round 3 2017. In their last 11 matches against South African sides, the Chiefs have had a 100% scrum success rate. 

MCKENZIE OUT, WHITELEY RETURNS
It’s been well documented this week that Damien McKenzie will miss the remainder of the Super Rugby season and the World Cup, after rupturing his ACL against the Blues. Jack Debreczeni slots into the fullback role for Friday, with Shaun Stevenson named on the bench. Meanwhile, the Lions welcome back their skipper Warren Whiteley who has been on the sidelines for seven weeks after suffering a pectoralis major muscle tear. 

THE SCOOP
Anton Lienert-Brown could jump to the top of the leaderboard for the most offloads this weekend. He currently has 18 offloads (3 per game), one behind Israel Folau who won’t play this weekend after being stood down indefinitely by the Waratahs. 

FAST FACT (Opta Sports)
Lions hooker Malcolm Marx has played the most minutes (622) of any hooker in the competition this year – almost 100 more than James Parsons who is behind him on 529 minutes. 

TEAMS
Chiefs: 15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Alex Nankivell, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Ataata Moeakiola, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber (C), 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tyler Ardron, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Angus Ta’avao. Reserves: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Jonathan Taumateine, 22 Tumua Manu, 23 Shaun Stevenson 

Lions: 15 Sylvian Mahuza, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Franco Naude, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (C), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Sti Sithole. Reserves: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Frans Van Wyk, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Andries Coetzee