Preview: Brumbies v. Hurricanes - Green and Gold Rugby
ACT Brumbies

Preview: Brumbies v. Hurricanes

Preview: Brumbies v. Hurricanes

The Brumbies will have to put the disappointment of their shock loss to the Melbourne Rebels last week behind them quickly as they take on the high flying Hurricanes in Napier on Friday.

The reverse fixture in 2016 where the Brumbies blew their opposition away with a 52-10 hammering seems a lifetime ago and was only a blip on the Hurricanes radar as they went to win the title.

The Brumbies have only had a short week to prepare and there were plenty of areas that needed addressing if they are to cause what most people see as an upset as they try to break a seven game losing streak in New Zealand. Their last win over the ditch was back in 2014 against this weeks opposition.

One thing in their favour is the Brumbies have conceded the least points against in 2017 but that record comes under threat as they come up against the best attacking record in the competition.

It might not be easy to come up with a game plan against the Hurricanes with no obvious weakness across the field. It seems obvious to try and keep it away from the danger men in the backline but trying to keep it away from one Barrett probably means the other one gets involved.

You can not forget about Julian ‘the bus’ Savea and if that isn’t a scary enough prospect, the two leading try scorers of the comp are waiting in the centres in Vince Aso and Ngani Laumape.

Stephen Larkham has named two changes to the starting side with another two changes on the bench. Josh Mann-Rea comes straight back into the starting side at hooker after recovering earlier than expected from a knee injury suffered in the Waratahs game with Robbie Abel dropping back to the bench.

James Dargaville comes back in on the left wing in place of Tom Banks, who drops out the matchday 23 to make it two Brumbies players named after North Island towns.

The changes on the bench see Lolo Fakaosilea back as part of a 5/3 split and Nigel Ah Wong is back as part of reserve backs contingent.

The Hurricanes have made a few changes themselves but have named a very strong side for this game as they look to continue their impressive season. The Savea and Barrett brothers are named and will no doubt cause havoc if given the space. TJ Perenara has been given a bench role this week and Dane Coles is still a few weeks away from returning to action.

MATCHUPS

Henry Speight vs Julian Savea

Speight has been having a pretty good year and added a try scoring double last week to make it six for the season so far. This week will be an even bigger challenge as he comes up against one the most destructive runners of the ball so defence will be crucial to keep Savea in check.

Chris Alcock vs Ardie Savea

Alcock has had the big shoes (and arms) to fill of David Pocock in the backrow but has done a very good job and has been one of the Brumbies players in 2017 that could put him in line for a Wallabies spot if Sean McMahon isn’t back in time. He is up against Ardie Savea who himself is looking to claim the All Blacks 7 jersey with the Lions series just around the corner and will no doubt be up for a big game.

Prediction

This one looks like a tough one for the Brumbies in a venue that is new to them. The Hurricanes good season should continue with another win.

Teams


BRUMBIES

1. Scott Sio
2. Josh Mann-Rea
3. Allan Alaalatoa
4. Rory Arnold
5. Sam Carter
6. Scott Fardy
7. Chris Alcock
8. Jarrad Butler
9. Joe Powell
10. Wharenui Hawera
11. James Dargaville
12. Andrew Smith
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Henry Speight
15. Aidan Toua

Reserves:
16. Robbie Abel
17. Nic Mayhew
18. Ben Alexander
19. Blake Enever
20. Lolo Fakaosilea
21. De Wet Roos
22. Jordan Jackson-Hope
23. Nigel Ah Wong


Hurricanes

1. Ben May
2. Ricky Riccitelli
3. Jeffery To’omaga-Allen
4. Mark Abbott
5. Vaea Fifita
6. Brad Shields
7. Ardie Savea
8. Blade Thomson
9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
10. Beauden Barrett
11. Julian Savea
12. Ngani Laumape
13. Vince Aso
14. Cory Jane
15. Jordie Barrett

Reserves:
16. Leni Apisai
17. Chris Eves
18. Mike Kainga
19. James Blackwell
20. Callum Gibbins
21. TJ Perenara
22. Otere Black
23. Ben Lam

ACT Brumbies
@steve_l15

Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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