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Preview: Brumbies v Hurricanes

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Sportal.co.nz     30 May 2013     Getty Images

HEAD TO HEAD: Played 18, Brumbies 10, Hurricanes 8.
LAST TIME: Brumbies 37 def Hurricanes 25, Round 13, 2012 at Westpac Stadium.

WALKING WOUNDED:
Hurricanes prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen will miss the rest of the Super Rugby season after injuring ligaments in his knee against the Chiefs on May 17. The 22-year-old does not require surgery but will be sidelined for at least eight weeks.

Brumbies first-five Matt Toomua has a slight calf complaint but is a certain starter for Friday's showdown with the Hurricanes at Canberra Stadium. There were no other injuries to come out of Saturday's win over the Blues in Auckland.

FORM:
The Hurricanes are coming off the bye week and a narrow 17-12 loss to defending champions the Chiefs a fortnight ago. Mark Hammett's chargers beat the Cheetahs 39-34 in Bloemfontein in Round 13 after copping a 48-14 hammering at the hands of the Bulls in Pretoria a week earlier. The Hurricanes are fourth in the competitive New Zealand conference and ninth overall on 38 points.

The Brumbies snapped a two-game losing streak with a hard-fought 20-13 win over the Blues at Eden Park. In an ugly contest, halfback Nic White scored the Brumbies' only try while Christian Lealiifano slotted five penalties to secure a vital victory for Jake White's men. The Brumbies hold a five point lead over the Reds atop the Australian conference ladder and sit in third overall on 50 points.

WE THINK: A win will move the Brumbies a step closer to their first finals appearance in eight years while a loss will leave the Hurricanes' playoff aspirations hanging by a thread. There will be no shortage of motivation for either side but the do-or-die scenario facing the Hurricanes makes this a very dangerous clash for the home side. And while the Brumbies have won their past two meetings with the Hurricanes, the visitors have some happy memories at Canberra Stadium having tasted victory at the venue in 2010. Hurricanes by five.