Blues v Lions
Eden Park, Auckland, Friday 5.35pm (AEST)
Last meeting: Round 3 2011 - Blues 41 bt Lions 32 at Coca-Cola Park, Johannesburg.
Head-to-head: Played 16 Blues 12 Lions 4
In Auckland: Played 5 Blues 5 Lions 0
Referee: Angus Gardner (AUS)
TV: Live, FoxSports 3
TAB Sportsbet: Blues $1.20 Lions $4.20
Greg Growden writes: Greg Growden writes: Blues coach Pat Lam is on his last legs, but at least there should be some joy tonight. If the Blues can't beat the Lions, they can't beat anyone- and considering the amount of experience they possess a victory should be relatively easy. Then again...
AAP writes: With last round’s loss, their ninth of the season, the Blues are already looking to 2013 and admit they will soon advertise coach Pat Lam’s job. However against the 14th-ranked side - one above the last-placed Blues - the home side might actually crack the seven-game run of defeats. The Lions won’t make it easy, doing themselves proud against the Chiefs. The Blues will need to play with some heart to stop the Lions big men, particularly after prop Tony Woodcock failed to come up. Perhaps the midweek re-signings of Charlie Faumuina, Luke Braid and Tom McCartney will give them a much-needed boost.
BLUES: Hadleigh Parkes, David Raikuna, Ma'a Nonu, Michael Hobbs, Benson Stanley, Gareth Anscombe, Piri Weepu, Peter Saili, Daniel Braid, Luke Braid (c), Ali Williams, Liaki Moli, Charlie Faumuina, Tom McCartney, Tevita Mailau. Reserves: James Parsons, Angus Ta'avao, Filo Paulo, Steven Luatua, Alby Mathewson, Lachie Munro, Sherwin Stowers.
LIONS: Andries Coetzee, Deon Van Rensburg, Lionel Mapoe, Jaco Taute, Michael Killian, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje, Joshua Strauss (c), Grant Hattingh, Derick Minnie, Ruan Botha, Franco Van der Merwe, Patric Cilliers, Callie Visagie, JC Janse van Rensburg. Reserves: Martin Bezuidenhout, CJ Van der Linde, Cobus Grobbelaar, Jaco Kriel, Tian Meyer, Ruan Combrinck, James Kamana.