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Blues v Hurricanes

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Walking wounded to be eaten by Sharks

The Waratahs are struggling with injuries and dissatisfied crowds.

PT0M0S 620 349

Eden Park, Auckland, Friday 5.35pm (AEDT)
Last meeting:
Round 12 2011 - Blues 17 bt Hurricanes 11 at Westpac Stadium
Head-to-head: Played 17 Blues 11 Hurricanes 5 drawn 1
In Auckland: Played 9 Blues 6 Hurricanes 3
Referee: Steve Walsh (AUS)
TV:
Live, FoxSports 3
Odds:
Blues $1.55 Hurricanes $2.40

Greg Growden writes: The Blues are struggling, but that didn’t stop their halfback Alby Mathewson producing the quote of the week when he Twittered about their long trip home from South Africa: "Sleeping pills got me pissing like a racehorse." Hope the leak stops in time for the big game, because the off-colour Blues need a dry track to beat the unpredictable Canes.

AAP writes: The Blues are under all sorts of pressure and despite it being round five, their clash with the Hurricanes is being billed as must-win. Despite a shock win over the Bulls in Pretoria, they've struggled their way through the opening weeks and are in the unfamiliar position of second last on the ladder. Not much is going their way at the moment, with a long injury and suspension list. However, there are a couple of key Blues who shouldn't be lacking in enthusiasm coming up against their old side. Piri Weepu and Ma'a Nonu have probably been eyeing off this contest since the Super Rugby draw was released and will look to inspire their teammates. The Hurricanes are 2-2 so far this year, but have plenty going for them. They won't get a better chance to cause an upset.

BLUES: Lachie Munro, David Raikuna, Benson Stanley, Ma'a Nonu, Rudi Wulf, Piri Weepu, Alby Mathewson, Brad Mika, Daniel Braid (capt), Chris Lowrey, Ali Williams, Liaki Moli, Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: James Parsons, Tevita Mailau, Filo Paulo, Sean Polwart, Gareth Anscombe, Michael Hobbs, Hadleigh Parkes.

HURRICANES: Andre Taylor, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith (captain), Tim Bateman, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Victor Vito, Jack Lam, Faifili Levave, Jason Eaton, Jeremy Thrush, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Dane Coles, Ben May/Michael Bent. Reserves: Motu Matu'u, Michael Bent/Tristan Moran, James Broadhurst, Brad Shields, Chris Eaton, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Charlie Ngatai.

Related Coverage

. Walking wounded to be eaten by Sharks

The Waratahs are struggling with injuries and dissatisfied crowds.

Expert tips

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

Lions v Stormers

Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg, Sunday 4.10am (AEDT)

Waratahs v Sharks

Allianz Stadium, Sydney, 3.35pm (AEDT)

Rebels v Force

AAMI Park, Melbourne, Friday 7.40pm (AEDT)

Crusaders v Cheetahs

Rugby League Park, Christchurch, Saturday 5.35pm (AEDT)

Brumbies v Highlanders

Canberra Stadium, Saturday, 7.40pm (AEDT)

Bulls v Reds

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, Sunday 2.05am (AEDT)

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