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    Blues v Highlanders

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    Preview

    The Blues are back at home this weekend when they host the Highlanders.

    With a bye last week the Blues will want to get back on the field and keep the momentum they got form their first round win over the Hurricanes.

    With the clash this Sunday the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy is also up for grabs. The Blues are the current holders of the trophy.

    For the Highlanders Ethan De Groot will get his first start of the season replacing the injured Lienert-Brown-Brown.

    We also see Coltman rotating with Ash Dixon. Manaaki Selby-Rickit and Hugh Renton have also done enough to worked their way in the starting team.

    James Lentjes will also start at the open side with Harmon and Mikaele dropping to the bench.

    In the backs Punivai moves to the right wing giving Collins a start. Garden-Bachop will start at fullback and at nine Aaron Smith is back in the starting XV to lead the side for this weekend.

    The Blues coach have kept most of his starting XV from the first round against the Hurricanes for this one.

    Jonathan Ruru gets the nod to start at halfback and he will partner with Black who is at ten again.

    In the pack Tolai will get a start and Sam Darry will make his debut alongside captain Patrick Tuipulotu

    We expect a massive battle from the backs but looking forward to the brilliance both backlines can produced with ball in hand.

    Prediction: Blues by 6

    Teams

    Blues: 1. Karl Tu’inukuafe 2. Luteru Tolai 3. Ofa Tuungafasi 4. Patrick Tuipulotu © 5. Sam Darry 6. Akira Ioane 7. Dalton Papalii 8. Hoskins Sotutu 9. Jonathan Ruru 10. Otere Black 11. Caleb Clarke 12. Harry Plummer 13. Rieko Ioane 14. Mark Telea 15. Stephen Perofeta

    Replacements: 16. Kurt Eklund 17. James Lay 18. Nepo Laulala 19. Gerard Cowley-Tuioti 20. Tom Robinson 21. Sam Nock 22. Tanielu Tele’a 23. Emoni Narawa

    Highlanders: 1. Ethan De Groot 2. Liam Coltman 3. Siate Tokolahi 4. Josh Dickson 5. Manaaki Selby-Rickit 6. Shannon Frizell 7. James Lentjes 8. Hugh Renton 9. Aaron Smith (cc) 10. Josh Ioane 11. Jona Nareki 12. Patelesio Tomkinson 13. Michael Collins 14. Ngatungane Punivai 15. Connor Garden-Bachop

    Replacements:16. Ash Dixon (cc) 17. Josh Hohneck 18. Jeff Thwaites 19. Bryn Evans 20. Marino Mikaele-Tu’u 21. Folau Fakatava 22. Mitch Hunt 23. Billy Harmon

    Details

    Date Time League Season Full Time
    Mar 14, 2021 4:25 am Super Rugby New Zealand Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021 90'