The Blues are on the road this week and will face the Brumbies in their match on Saturday.
The two teams are only separated by 3 log points at the moment and we will find that all games coming up in the next few weeks will be crucial for teams as they fight it out for a top 8 spot at the end of the season.
The Brumbies are coming of their tour to South Africa and Argentina with 1 win and 1 loss so they will want to get back to winning ways this weekend at home.
With a much improved Blues side this year we may be in for an exciting game if rugby on Saturday.
The Blues have improved a hell of a lot upfront and with a Brumbies side that have a good pack we can expect a massive clash for control of the game.
Both sides have some great talent at the back who can with good ball cause major damage on the field.
The Brumbies has made some changes to their side and we will see Len Ikitau starting on Saturday. He is a youngster that came through the Brumbies rank and we will follow his progress closely.
He is one of three changes to the starting side. We also see Joe Powell returning to the number nine jumper for this weekend.
We also see Irae Simone returning to the side in the midfield with Tom Wright and Ryan Lonergan named on the bench.
James Slipper will start in the front row with Alaalatoa and Fainga’a. In the second row we see Rory Arnold and Sam Carter.
Set pieces are going to play a vital roll in this game outcome and most properly the team that dominates this aspect of the game will take the win.
The Blues have the service of Blake Gibson again which will boost the leadership within the team.
Gibson will take up his number seven jumper and lead the team on the field this weekend.
There are seven changes to the Blues side for this weekend as we see Patrick Tuipuloto move down to the bench.
Rieko Ioane will not future this week as he take up one of his rest weeks die to All Black protocol.
Matt Duffie comes in on the wing to replace Ioane, with youngster Caleb Clarke shifting to the left side.
Sam Nock also gets a crack at starting at nine with Jonathan Ruru sitting this one out.
In the pack Dalton Papalii start on the side of the pack with Josh Goodue joining Gerard Cowley-Tuioti in the second row.
Ofa Tu’ungafasi will take his place in the front row with Leni Apisai getting his first start of the season at hooker.
Alex Hodgman starts on the loosehead side in a new-look front row for this weekend.
Akira Ioane will have to pass a fitness test before he will get the nod to start.
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
- The Blues have won each of their last three games against the Brumbies, the third time they’ve gone on such a streak against the Canberra side, however they’ve never managed to win 4+ games in a row against them
- The Brumbies have won five of their last six games at home (L1), including the last three on the bounce.
- The Blues have lost their last six Super Rugby away games, their last road victory came on Australian soil in May 2018 (24-21 vs NSW Waratahs).
- The Blues have averaged more time in possession (18:12) per game than any other team this Super Rugby campaign.
- Joe Powell (Brumbies) has made six try assists so far in Super Rugby 2019; only Quade Cooper (Rebels, 9) has made more among Australian teams.
Prediction: Going to be a close one and again we lean towards the home side by 4
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Toni Pulu, 10 Christian Lealiifano (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Tom Cusack, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Faigna’a, 1 James Slipper
Replacements: 16 Conor McInerney, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Murray Douglas, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Tom Wright, 23 Andy Muirhead
Blues: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 TJ Faiane, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson (captain), 6 Tom Robinson, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Leni Apisai, 1 Alex Hodgman
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Levi Aumua