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Super Rugby Preview: Chiefs v Reds

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Thursday, May 23, 2019    allblacks.com    Getty Images


Match details:
Chiefs v Reds, 7.35pm Friday 24 May, FMG Stadium Waikato. TICKETS.

Played: 22
Won: Chiefs 12, Reds 10
Referee: Angus Gardner
Last time: Chiefs 36, Reds 12 (21 April 2019)

SEASON ON THE LINE
With both teams on 23 points and languishing at the wrong end of their respective conference, it truly is a must-win match for both sides in Hamilton. The Chiefs only have three-games remaining this season and need to win all three to have any hope of sneaking into the playoffs. The Reds have one-extra game remaining but know a loss in Hamilton will be a hammer-blow to their chances. 

QUICK TAP: REGAINING TEAM WORK KEY FOR CHIEFS

CAPTAIN CANE
After a successful return to action last week since suffering a serious neck injury in 2018, Sam Cane re-gains the captaincy for the Reds clash and switches to blindside flanker with Lachlan Boshier taking the seven jersey. Coach Colin Cooper has full faith in Cane’s ability to start the match after the Super Rugby centurion got through 42 minutes on his return against the Blues last week. Cane will have his work cut out against the Reds powerful loose forward trio of Angus Scott-Young, Liam Wright and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in what is sure to be a physical contest.

FAST FACT
The Reds have won three of their last four games in New Zealand against the Chiefs.
THE SCOOP
The Chiefs have struggled at home this year with just two wins out of six. With games coming up against the Crusaders in Suva and the Rebels in Melbourne, this will be the Chiefs last chance to impress their faithful fans at FMG Stadium Waikato. Despite a horror injury toll this year, the Chiefs have still scraped together a solid 23 for this clash and should have enough fire power to see off the Reds and keep their playoff hopes alive.

TEAMS
Chiefs:
Solomon Alaimalo, Shaun Stevenson, Tumua Manu, Alex Nankivell, Etene Nanai-Seturo, Marty McKenzie, Brad Weber; Pita Gus Sowakula, Lachlan Boshier, Sam Cane (c), Tyler Ardron, Jesse Parete, Nepo Laulala, Nathan Harris, Atu Moli. Reserves: Samisoni Taukei'aho, Aidan Ross, Sosefo Kautai, Daymon Leasuasu, Mitchell Karpik, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Jack Debreczeni, Sean Wainui.

Reds: Matt McGahan, Jock Campbell, Seb Wileman, Duncan Paia'aua, Sefa Naivalu, Bryce Hegarty, Tate McDermott; Angus Scott-Young, Liam Wright, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Blyth, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou, Alex Mafi, Harry Hoopert. Reserves: Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Feao Fotuaika, Ruan Smith, Adam Korczyk, Scott Higginbotham, Scott Malolua, Teti Tela, Liam McNamara.