Home playoff on the line in Blues v Hurricanes clash

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But both teams have to jump some significant hurdles before claiming a win.

The Blues have to regain their winning ability in local derbies – they have lost their last three against New Zealand teams.

The Hurricanes have lost five of their last seven games against the Blues, including their last two, while also losing their last two games away from Wellington, their most since 2018.

The closeness of the teams in their hunt for the best finishing position is reflected in their statistics.

The Hurricanes average the most points in games (35.7) while the Blues are fourth (32.8), and the Hurricanes have the highest average of 5.1 tries per game to the Blues' 4.3 (5th).

The Blues have carried the most with 129.6, while the Hurricanes are third with 126.8, and the home team has carried the most metres, 956.5, to the Hurricanes with 861.6 (2nd).

While the Blues have made most line breaks with 7.8 compared to 7.4 for the Hurricanes (2nd), the visitors have beaten 28.4 defenders and the Blues 26.4 (5th).

The Hurricanes lead the offload stakes with 12.3 per game, with the Blues fifth with 9.6. Hurricanes wing Salesi Rayasi is the best offloader across the competition with 23. At the same time, teammates second five-eighths Jordie Barrett, halfback Cam Roigard, and Blues No8  Hoskins Sotutu are fourth equal with 16.

The Hurricane's defence has seen them miss 25.8 tackles (9th) compared to the Blues' 18.8 (2nd).

Turnovers have been a mixed bag for both teams. The Hurricanes have won most turnovers with 6.4 a game while the Blues are back in ninth with 5.1, but the Hurricanes have conceded most in the competition with 14.8 while the Blues are sixth on 12.4.

Loose forwards Ardie Savea and Du'Plessis Kirifi, with 10 each, share sixth place across the competition in turnovers won.

Both teams are close in the lineout and scrum successes, but the Hurricanes have a slight ruck advantage of 96.1 (2nd) compared to 95.7 (6th).

Blues wing Mark Telea has carried an average of 115m in games, the most by any player, while Roigard leads the competition for most box kicks (51) during the season.

Elsewhere in round 14, Aaron Smith will play his final game in Dunedin for the Highlanders when they take on the Reds on Friday night. Get your TICKETS HERE.

It will also be last chance saloon for the Melbourne Rebels when they host the Western Force on Friday night. Win and they keep their playoff hopes alive. The action kicks off at 9.35pm NZT.

Saturday kicks off with another do-or-die clash when the Fijian Drua welcome Moana Pasifika to Fiji for the first time. A loss will end the Fijian Drua’s playoff hopes and give Moana Pasifika fans something to cheer about after going winless so far in 2023.

The Crusaders host the NSW Waratahs at 4.35pm NZT on Saturday afternoon in another crucial match-up. A win for Scott Robertson’s side will see them lock up a home playoff. Get your TICKETS HERE.

The Blues v Hurricanes clash at 7.05pm will double as a shoot out for a home playoff between the two North Island clubs.  Get your TICKETS HERE.

The final clash of round 14 is a blockbuster between the Chiefs and ACT Brumbies at GIO Stadium in Canberra. A win for the Chiefs will sew up the minor premiership with one round to spare.

Catch all the action live on Sky Sport NZ.


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