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Super Rugby: Brumbies ready for mighty Blues battle

It’s semi-finals time in Super Rugby Pacific and the first final-four showdown sees the Brumbies make the trip across The Tasman to face the Blues in Auckland on Friday night.

The Brumbies have been the standout Australian team in the competition this season and will be flying the flag for the nation as the only non-Kiwi club left in the playoffs.

These sides met in the semi-finals back in 2022 and it was the Blues who managed to come out on top by just a single point, with Noah Lolesio seeing his late drop-goal attempt charged down.

It’s set to be another thrilling encounter at Eden Park this time around and Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham will know his side will need to produce their performance of the season to overcome the Blues and reach the grand final.

. What: Blues v Brumbies
. Where: Eden Park, Auckland
. When: 17:05 (AEST), Friday 14th June 2024
. How to watch: Stan Sports
. Odds: Blues 1.16, Brumbies 5.00

Brumbies have nothing to lose

As the 5.00 underdogs to pull off the win on Friday night, few are giving the Brumbies a chance of making the final and facing either the Hurricanes or the Chiefs.

That means the pressure is firmly on the shoulders of the Blues and the Brumbies have the freedom to go out on that Eden Park pitch and play their expansive game.

Of course, the Brumbies will have to play smart and try to keep this frightening Blues’ backline quiet.

However, the Canberra outfit have their own attacking threats, with the likes of Noah Lolesio, Corey Toole, Andy Muirhead and Tom Wright all having the opportunity to shine on the big stage.

Toole is the shortest price 2.50 for any Brumbies player in the Anytime tryscorer market, while the winger is 13.00 to bag the opening try of the game.

The Brumbies can make this a tighter affair than many might think and the visitors are available at 1.91 with +11 in the Line market.

Blues must stand up and deliver

The Blues will be looking to make amends for their semi-final defeat at the hands of the Crusaders last year in Christchurch.

Suffering a 52-15 hammering, it was a tough result for the Blues to take and that memory is likely to be a motivating factor this weekend in Auckland.

As mentioned, this Blues’ backline is one of the most formidable on the planet right now, consisting of Finlay Christie, Harry Plummer, Caleb Clarke, AJ Lam, Rieko Ioane, Mark Tele'a and Stephen Perofeta.

Clarke and Tele’a are both 2.05 to score a try anytime on Friday night, while the pair are both available at 10.00 to score the opener.

This match is likely to come down to a couple of big moments and the Brumbies will be hoping they’re the ones left smiling at the full-time whistle and that their season rolls on for another week.

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