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Super Rugby Preview (QF): Hurricanes v Bulls

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Thursday, June 20, 2019    Lynn McConnell    Getty Images


Match Details:
Hurricanes v Bulls, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 7.35pm, June 22, 2019. TICKETS.  

Played: 21
Won: Hurricanes 11, Bulls 10
Last time: Hurricanes 19-21 Bulls, Pretoria, February 24, 2018
Referee: Nic Berry

FORM
The Hurricanes go into the game having won 12 games, and drawn one to eight wins for the Bulls and two draws. During the season the Hurricanes beat: the Waratahs 20-19a, the Brumbies 43-13, the Highlanders 25-22 and 31-28a, the Stormers 34-28, the Sunwolves 29-23a, the Chiefs 47-19, the Rebels 29-19, the Blues 22-12a, the Sharks 30-17a, the Lions 37-17a and the Blues 29-24. They lost to the Crusaders 22-38a and 8-32 and the Jaguares 20-28 while they drew 23-23a with the Chiefs. The Bulls won their first game against the Stormers 40-3 then lost to the Jaguares 12-27a. They beat the Lions 30-12a and the Sharks 37-14. They lost to the Chiefs 20-56 then beat the Sharks 19-16a. They lost to the Jaguares 20-22 but beat the Reds 32-17. In between a 23-24a loss to the Stormers and a home loss to the Crusaders 13-45, they beat the Waratahs 28-21. They beat the Rebels 32-17a but lost to the Brumbies 10-22a before drawing with both the Blues 22-22a and the Highlanders 24-24a. The beat the Lions 48-27 in their last game.

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MILESTONES FOR BARRETT, PERENARA
First five-eighths Beauden Barrett and halfback TJ Perenara will finally achieve their 100th game together for the Hurricanes in the game. The milestone was due to occur in Johannesburg but Barrett fell ill and couldn't play. It will also be Perenara's 126th game for the side which equals the record jointly shared by Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith of most appearances for the side. Barrett, the record points scorer for the Hurricanes is on 124 appearances. Coach John Plumtree said after several less experienced members were given game time last week that the whole squad had taken a lift from their effort. "We all worked really hard to earn a home playoff game and we can't wait to get out in front of our fans and meet the massive challenge the Bulls will bring," he said.

KRIEL BACK FOR BULLS
Three changes have been made to the Bulls side who beat the Lions at the weekend. Jesse Kriel returns from an ankle injury suffered in April while Johnny Kotze moves in one position to second five-eighths to replace Burger Odendaal and in the pack Jason Jenkins returns at lock. Bulls coach Pote Human said the Bulls didn't want to leave Wellington without a win. "We prepared to play in the final. We are now three matches away from that, but realise that we cannot look past this one against a very dangerous Hurricanes team. They play at home, have won this competition before and have so many strike players that will keep us busy. We have found some good momentum in the last couple of weeks and will back ourselves on Saturday."
THE SCOOP
The Hurricanes have won three of their last four games against the Bulls although three of the games have been decided by less than five points.

FAST FACT
The Bulls have the best lineout success of any team in Super Rugby this season at 93 percent. The Hurricanes have the worst at 80 percent.

TEAMS:

Hurricanes:
1.Toby Smith, 2.Dane Coles (captain), 3.Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 4.James Blackwell, 5.Isaia Walker-Leawere, 6.Reed Prinsep, 7.Ardie Savea, 8.Gareth Evans, 9.TJ Perenara, 10.Beauden Barrett, 11.Ben Lam, 12.Ngani Laumape, 13.Peter Umaga-Jensen, 14.Wes Goosen, 15.Jordie Barrett.

Substitutes: 16.Asafo Aumua, 17.Fraser Armstrong, 18.Ben May or Alex Fidow, 19.Kane La'aupepe, 20.Du'Plessis Kirifi, 21.Richard Judd or Finlay Christie, 22.James Marshall, 23.Salesi Rayasi.

Bulls: 1.Lizo Gqoboka, 2.Jaco Visagie, 3.Trevor Nyakane, 4.Jason Jenkins, 5.RG Snyman, 6.Marco van Staden, 7.Hanro Liebenberg, 8.Duane Vermeulen, 9.Andre Warner, 10.Handre Pollard (captain), 11.Rosko Specman, 12.Johnny Kotze, 13.Jesse Kriel, 14.Cornal Hendricks, 15.Warrick Gelant.

Substitutes: 16.Johan Grobbelaar, 17.Simphiwe Matanzima, 18.Wiehahn Herbst, 19.Jannes Kirsten, 20.Ruan Steenkamp, 21.Ivan van Zyl, 22.Manie Libbok, 23.Divan Rossouw.