Preview: Blues v Chiefs

Marty Holah 1582073360


VENUE & TIME: Eden Park, Auckland, Saturday May 13, 5:35pm AEST.

HEAD TO HEAD: Played 10 � Blues 8, Chiefs 2.

LAST TIME: March 12, 2005 (Hamilton) - Chiefs 18 - 9 Blues.

WALKING WOUNDED: Blues flanker Daniel Braid has torn his medial ligament in his knee. His place in the team will be taken by Onosa�i Tololima-Auva�a. Chiefs No.8 Steven Bates suffered a hyper-extended elbow against the Waratahs but has been selected but hooker Tom Willis and centre Niva Ta'auso are also still out.

FORM: The Chiefs showed their full attacking prowess to cut the Waratahs to shreds last week and are finally starting to play to their full potential. The Blues also attacked well last week but let in a glut of points against the lowly Cats to finish their South African tour with a one-point loss.

WHO'S HOT: Chiefs' flanker Marty Holah was a star last week against Phil Waugh while Mils Muliaina was outstanding at fullback as was Sam Tuitupou in the centres. First five-eighthsLuke McAlister once again looked good with the ball in his hands for the Blues while centre Anthony Tuitavake and wing Doug Howlett were explosive in attack.

WE THINK: Local pride can be a powerful weapon and while the weather of recent days may make the game slower than usual, a fascinating contest is in prospect. The Chiefs possibly have the edge but if the Blues choose Saturday to have everything click they will be more than a handful.

TEAMS:

Blues: 1 - Saimone Taumoepeau, 2 - Keven Mealamu (Captain), 3 - John Afoa, 4 - Greg Rawlinson, 5 - Ali Williams, 6 - Jerome Kaino, 7 - Onosa'i Tololima-Auva'a, 8 - Nick Williams, 9 - John Senio, 10 - Luke McAlister, 11 - Joe Rokocoko, 12 - Isa Nacewa, 13 - Ben Atiga, 14 - Doug Howlett, 15 - Brent Ward.

Reserves: 16 - Tim Dow, 17 - Mike Noble, 18 - Anthony Boric, 19 - Kurtis Haiu, 20 - Junior Poluleuligaga, 21 - Tasesa Lavea, 22 - George Pisi.

Chiefs: 1 - Simms Davison, 2 - Aleiki Lutui, 3 - Ben Castle, 4 - Bernie Upton, 5 - Sean Hohneck, 6 - Jono Gibbes (Captain), 7 - Marty Holah, 8 - Steven Bates, 9 - Byron Kelleher, 10 - David Hill, 11 - Sitiveni Sivivatu, 12 - Sam Tuitupou, 13 - Mark Ranby, 14 - Anthony Tahana, 15 - Mils Muliaina.

Reserves: 16 - Scott Linklater, 17 - Deacon Manu, 18 - Kristian Ormsby, 19 - Liam Messam, 20 - Jamie Nutbrown, 21 - Stephen Donald, 22 - Sosene Anesi.

Referee: Kelvin Deaker
Marty Holah 1582073360