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Super Rugby: Waratahs ready for Auckland challenge

The Waratahs will need to produce their performance of the campaign if they are to reach the Super Rugby Pacific semi-finals, as they prepare to face the Blues at Eden Park.

Auckland outfit the Blues finished the regular season in third place with just four defeats from their 14 outings. 

Finishing 15 points above the Tahs, who lost twice as many games through the regular season, Darren Coleman’s side will be up against it when they face the Blues on Friday night.

WhatBlues v Waratahs
WhereEden Park, Auckland
When17:35, Friday 9th June 2023
How to watchStan Sport
OddsBlues 1.071, Waratahs 8.00

Tahs must learn from last Auckland visit

Coleman saw his side suffer a 55-21 loss in their last away game against the Blues on 22nd April and clearly a much better performance is needed if they are to spring a shock this week. 

What should give the Waratahs some heart is that they did follow that heavy defeat against the Blues up with four-straight victories over the Highlanders, Reds, Rebels and Fijian Drua to reach the quarter-final stage. 

A 33-24 defeat last time out against Moana Pasifika in Sydney last weekend, their first and only win of the Super Rugby campaign, won’t have helped confidence going into this one against the Blues. 

The Line market looks to be heavily in favour of the hosts, with the Tahs at 1.91 to win with +18.5 points.

Blues backline brimming with talent 

A back division that will cause problems for most club sides in the world, the Blues backs could run riot at Eden Park this week. 

With New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett pulling the strings in the No.10 jersey, and with fellow All Blacks Mark Telea and Rieko Ioane in the centres, the Waratahs' defence has its work cut out for them to keep these Kiwi stars quiet. 

The Blues have an impressive record against the Tahs, winning all of their last eight meetings with the Australian outfit in Super Rugby. 

Scoring an average of 36 points per game in those eight outings further highlights the size of the challenge that awaits the visitors at Eden Park.

Watch out for Telea 

All Blacks centre Telea is certainly a man in form at present after scoring nine tries in his last eight outings in Super Rugby. 

The 26-year-old will be determined to nail down a place in the New Zealand squad for the World Cup later this year and a strong finish to the Super Rugby campaign won’t do his chances any harm.

Considering his scoring form, Telea is 8.00 to score the opening try of the game and is 1.53 to touchdown Anytime during the clash on Friday night. 

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