The Hurricanes are at home to the Blues on Saturday evening and by virtue of their home advantage are favourites to win, especially after their impressive 17-11 victory over the Highlanders in Wellington last weekend.
The Blues come into the game off the back of their first defeat in the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, a 15-26 away loss to the table-topping Crusaders who they performed powerfully against but could not go the distance with.
History suggests there will be nothing between the two teams. They have played each other 34 times, with the Hurricanes winning 17, the Blues 16 and one game drawn.
The last time the teams met was in June at Eden Park in round one when the Blues triumphed 30-20.
The Blues are currently second on the table, four points above the Hurricanes who are third.
Blues coach Leon MacDonald told superrugby.co.nz that his team can improve on their performance against the Crusaders in their clash Saturday night with the Hurricanes.
“We did a lot of very good things at set phase and the collision area, and we produced some important front-foot ball. Hopefully, the boys can take confidence from those positives into what will be another big battle this week.”
Hurricanes forwards coach Chris Gibbes is picking a keen contest between the two packs.
“There’s a bit of edge this week, it should be a hell of a spectacle,” he told Stuff.
The game kicks off at 7.05pm at the Cake Tin.
In the other matchup this weekend, the Chiefs will be looking for their first win of the competition at home to the Highlanders at 3.35pm on Sunday afternoon.
15: Jordie Barrett 14: Kobus Van Wyk 13: Peter Umaga-Jensen 12: Ngani Laumape 11: Ben Lam 10: Fletcher Smith 9: TJ Perenara 8: Ardie Savea 7: Du’Plessis Kirifi 6: Reed Prinsep 5: Scott Scrafton 4: James Blackwell 3: Tyrel Lomax 2: Dane Coles (C) 1: Ben May
Reserves: 16: Asafo Aumua 17: Fraser Armstrong 18: Alex Fidow 19: Isaia Walker-Leaware 20: Tony Lamborn 21: Jonathan Ruru 22: TJ Faiane 23: Matt Duffie
15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Emoni Narawa, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Harry Plummer, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie; 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Aaron Carroll, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu ©, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Reserves: 16 Tolai Luteru, 17 Marcel Renata, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 TJ Faiane, 23 Matt Duffie.