Hurricanes vs. Chiefs
Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 7.35pm
Referee: Angus Gardner
It shapes as a goody from Westpac Stadium tonight as the Hurricanes meet the two-time defending champion Chiefs. The 2013 fixtures saw the Chiefs win both encounters, 17-12 and 34-22 with both matches being bruising meetings.
It should be entertainment aplenty this evening with both sides keen runners of the ball and both teams boasting a number of All Blacks stars. Extra intrigue lies with the comeback from injury of All Blacks first five-eighth Aaron Cruden off the bench for the Chiefs and the 50th Super Rugby match for rangy Canes openside Jack Lam.
Key Match Ups:
Andre Taylor vs. Tim Nanai-Williams (fullback)
Beauden Barret vs. Gareth Anscombe/Aaron Cruden (first five-eighth)
TJ Perenara vs. Tawera Kerr-Barlow (halfback)
Victor Vito vs. Liam Messam (number 8)
Ben Franks vs. Ben Tameifuna (prop)
Hurricanes: Andre Taylor, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith (captain), Alapati leiua, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, James Broadhurst, Jeremy Thrush, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles, Ben Franks. Reserves: Ash Dixon/Reggie Goodes, Chris Eves, Reggie Goodes/Mike Kainga, Brad Shields, Ardie Savea, Chris Smylie, Tim Bateman, Matt Proctor/James Marshall.
Chiefs: Tim Nanai-Williams, Dwayne Sweeney, Charlie Ngatai, Bundee Aki, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Gareth Anscombe, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Messam (c), Sam Cane, Tanerau Latimer, Brodie Retallick, Michael Fitzgerald, Ben Tameifuna, Nathan Harris, Pauliasi Manu. Reserves: Mahonri Schwalger, Jamie Mackintosh, Josh Hohneck, Kane Thompson, Liam Squire, Brad Weber, Aaron Cruden, Tom Marshall.