The Highlanders play host to the Blues at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Sunday in round eight of Super Rugby Aotearoa. The Blues are still eyeing overall glory this season, but the Highlanders will not be prepared to let them win.
Highlanders Form & News
The Highlanders came into Super Rugby Aotearoa in poor shape, but their performances since the tournament kicked off have shown a different side to their game. While they have only picked up two victories in their five fixtures - both against the Chiefs, the Highlanders have pushed both the Blues and Hurricanes close.
In the third week of Super Rugby Aotearoa, the Highlanders went down 27-24 away at the Blues. The following week, the Highlanders collapsed to a 40-20 defeat at home to the Crusaders.
The Highlanders then went on to lose 17-11 at the Hurricanes, but beat the Chiefs 33-31 in their last fixture. It was one of the finest comebacks in Super Rugby history, with the Highlanders down by 20 points at one point.
The Highlanders have no reported injury concerns for Saturday’s match against the Blues.
Blues Form & News
The Blues have excelled in 2020, but have hit a speed bump of late. They were on a winning streak of seven matches before succumbing 26-15 at the Crusaders.
That result was followed up with another away loss, this time 29-27 at the Hurricanes. The Blues bounced back last week at Eden Park, beating the Chiefs 21-17. The Blues will be happy with the win but know that their overall performance was far from the heights we saw earlier in 2020.
Veteran fly-half Dan Carter’s calf injury flared up before last weekend’s game and there is doubt whether he will be ready this weekend. Beauden Barrett is likely to retain his preferred fly-half position ahead of Otere Black.
Loose forward Hoskins Sotutu looks like he’ll remain on the sidelines for the third match running while hooker James Parsons is still out with concussion symptoms.
Highlanders vs Blues Head to Head
The Highlanders have a 6-4 advantage over the Blues in their last 10 meetings. The last clash between the sides was in round three of Super Rugby Aotearoa, with the Blues claiming a 27-24 win at Eden Park.
Highlanders vs Blues Odds
The Highlanders are priced at 2.60 to win the clash, while the Blues are available at 1.53. A draw pays 23.00.
The handicap is set at 5 points and will pay 1.90 either way.
Highlanders vs Blues Match Up
An exciting match is anticipated in Dunedin. The roof will be closed, so there is no chance for the weather to spoil proceedings. The Blues have not been the best away from home, having lost their last two games on the road, and are without a victory in Dunedin since 2011.
Highlanders vs Blues Stats
- Highlanders have won or finished with 5 points in 3 of their last 5 matches.
- Highlanders have won their last 7 home matches against the Blues.
- Blues have failed to cover the -5 handicap in their last 4 matches.
- Blues have lost their last 2 away matches.