Home Vodacom Super Rugby 2019 Match Preview – Blues v Waratahs

Match Preview – Blues v Waratahs

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The one with their tails up and the the other with their heads still in the sand.

The Blues will be hosting the Waratahs on Saturday and it is set to be a great contest.

For a long time the Blues side have been the New Zealand side that always struggled in the competition. They always lost those close games and most of the time failed to finish games as well.

Well that have changed drastically this season after round four against the Sunwolves.

They have since then beaten the Highlanders and Stormers which put them third in the New Zealand conference behind the Crusaders and Hurricanes.

On the other side of the field they will face the Waratahs who gave up the top spot in the Aussie conference after the shock loss against the Sunwolves last week.

What made this loss even more surprising was that they beat the Crusaders the previous week, but the inconsistency is exactly what we have seen from the Waratahs over the last couple off years.

We can be sure that they will come out firing this weekend against the Blues but they will not face a Blues side that do not have confidence like in the past, in fact they will find a Blues side that have sharpen up big time on their defence and have develop into a side with a solid pack.

The Blues set pieces have been a huge improvement from the past few years and they are playing as a team and not like a group of good individuals.

The Waratahs have made some changes to the side that lost against the Sunwolves.

Bernard Foley, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Jack Dempsey all return to the starting line up after being rested last weekend.

They will however be without their captain Michael Hooper that earns a rest this week. His place will be taken by Will Miller.

The Blues have named virtually and unchanged side to run onto the field.

Caleb Clarke, returns from injury to replace suspended Tanielu Tele’a on the wing, while Josh Goodhue has recovered from a shoulder injury to return at lock.

With Goodhue returning to the pack, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti will play of the bench this weekend.

We will also see Marcel Renata as front row replacement

This match will have supporters scratching their heads to put in their SuperBru prediction.

Some interesting facts (By: OPTA)

  • The Blues have won their last three Super Rugby games against the NSW Waratahs, they’ve not gone on a longer such run in this fixture since winning the first five clashes between the sides (1996-2000).
  • It is over 10 years since the Waratahs last beat the Blues in New Zealand, their 27-22 win in March 2009 is in fact their only away win against the Blues in Super Rugby history (L10).
  • NSW Waratahs have won three of their last four regular season games away from home, though were defeated 19-13 by the Brumbies in their last outing on the road.
  • The Blues have averaged more carries (131) and fewer kicks (15) per game than any other side in Super Rugby this season so far.
  • Michael Hooper is the first player in Super Rugby this season to tally 100 tackles, he has completed 102 of 111 attempts so far.

Previous Results:

Prediction: Think the Blues are on a roll, it will be close but give it to the Blues by 6

Teams:

Blues – 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Caleb Clarke, 13 TJ Faiane, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Otere Black, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson (co-c), 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (co-c), 3 Sione Mafileo, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds,  17 Marcel Renata, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Michael Collins.

Waratahs – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Will Miller, 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Lachlan Swinton, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Kurtley Beale, 23 Lalakai Foketi.

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