Rugby Union 3 years ago

Tonight's Top 5 Key Match Ups

  • Tonight's Top 5 Key Match Ups

It's a big game between the Hurricanes and Highlanders tonight with the visitors looking to extend their unbeaten run to five games and the Highlanders looking to knock off another major scalp after taking down the defending champion Waratahs and the two-time champion Chiefs in successive matches.

Here's five of the best individual match ups:

Nehe Milner-Skudder vs. Ben Smith (fullback)

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Milner-Skudder was outstanding at fullback in his first start for the Hurricanes last weekend and is a real up-and-coming talent. But he has to contend with incumbent All Blacks fullback Smith who is once again in good form for the Highlanders.

Conrad Smith vs. Malakai Fekitoa (centre)

This is the best of the best for me. The old head versus the freakish young talent. Smith is still the best centre in New Zealand rugby but Fekitoa is hot on his heals. Both have started quietly this year but Fekitoa showed glimpses when he made Israel Folau look foolish last weekend.

Beauden Barrett vs. Lima Sopoaga (first five-eighth)

Barrett is an All Black, Sopoaga is not. That doesn't mean it's a one-horse race. Sopoaga running game was excellent last weekend and his goal kicking has been superb. Barrett, by contrast, has been quietly consistent.

TJ Perenara vs. Aaron Smith (halfback)

This may just answer a question about who is the best halfback in the country at the moment.

Dane Coles vs. Liam Coltman (hooker)

Coles is injured but has been outstanding in the first four matches for the Hurricanes and it will take a huge rise in work rate for Coltman to come close to his standard tonight.

At a Glance: Hurricanes vs. Highlanders

Hurricanes name team to play Highlanders

Broadhurst gets one week suspension

Broadhurst Cited

Hurricanes beat Blues for best start in history

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