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Blues v Highlanders

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Possibility of a wildcard team getting ahead

If the Reds win this week, there's a chance two Aussie teams will make in the final six.

PT0M0S 620 349

Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday 5.35pm (AEST)
Last meeting:
Round 9 2012 - Highlanders 30 bt Blues 27 at Forsyth Barr Stadium
Head-to-head:
Played 19 Blues 13 Highlanders 6
In Auckland:
Played 8 Blues 7 Highlanders 1
Referee:
Glen Jackson (NZL)
TV:
Live, FoxSports 3
TAB Sportsbet:
Blues $2.25 Highlanders $1.60

Greg Growden writes: New Zealanders are saying the Australian conference is weak. At least we haven't got a mob of complete duds as the Blues, who despite a bevy of All Blacks, have been atrocious. The Highlanders by plenty, even though the Blues are 'resting' several duds.

AAP writes: Besieged Blues coach Pat Lam has wielded the axe after the Auckland side's embarrassing 47-point drubbing by the Crusaders. Among a raft of changes is the demotion of All Blacks Ma'a Nonu, Piri Weepu and Ali Williams to the bench. With just two wins this season, Lam will certainly be looking for a new job next year. His side still have enough talent to upset the Highlanders who have bagged just one win at Eden Park since 1996. But it's hard to see a complete turnaround in their diabolical organisation and defence. The Highlanders come off a crucial 16-11 win over the Bulls and should again dominate possession and be too strong up front.

BLUES: Hadleigh Parkes, David Raikuna, Francis Saili, Michael Hobbs, Sherwin Stowers, Gareth Anscombe, Alby Mathewson, Peter Saili/Luke Braid (c), Luke Braid/Daniel Braid, Steven Luatua, Filo Paulo, Liaki Moli, Tevita Mailau, James Parsons, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Tom McCartney, Angus Ta'avao, Ali Williams, Daniel Braid / Peter Saili / Danny Pryor, Piri Weepu, Ma'a Nonu, Lachie Munro.

HIGHLANDERS: Ben Smith, Kurt Baker, Tamati Ellison, Phil Burleigh, Hosea Gear, Chris Noakes, Jimmy Cowan, Nick Crosswell, Tim Boys, Adam Thomson, Hoani MacDonald, Jarrad Hoeata, Maafu Fia, Andrew Hore, Jamie Mackintosh (captain). Reserves: Jason Rutledge, Bronson Murray, Josh Bekhuis, Scott Fuglistaller, Aaron Smith, Mike Delany, Kenny Lynn.

Related Coverage

Breakdown (Thumbnail) Possibility of a wildcard team getting ahead

If the Reds win this week, there's a chance two Aussie teams will make in the final six.

Expert tips

Fairfax's panel of experts's tips for round 18.

Brumbies v Reds

Canberra Stadium, Saturday 7.35pm (AEST)

Force v Lions

nib Stadium, Perth, Saturday 9.40pm(AEST)

Cheetahs v Waratahs

Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein, Sunday 1.05am (AEST)

Sharks v Stormers

Mr Price Kings Park, Durban, Sunday 3.10am (AEST)

Chiefs v Bulls

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, Friday 5.35pm (AEST)

Hurricanes v Rebels

Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Saturday 3.30pm (AEST)

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HuffPost Australia

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Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
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England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
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Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
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Team P W L D +/- Pts
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France 4 3 1 0 57 14
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