Blues vs Chiefs

This match was meant to be a straight up semifinal with the winner going through to meet the Crusaders but after reviewing the rule book is was clear that the Blues can’t make the finals even if they win with a bonus point as the tie breaker when teams end on the same point is number of wins and the Chiefs will still go through. The Blues have pride to play for while the Chiefs have sent a second string team to play this match so it’s quite difficult to know what to expect. The Blues team is still very strong with Otere Black back at flyhalf although they still don’t have injured captain Patrick Tuipulotu. The hosts have also made many changes to the team and it will be interesting to see if the new players can gel. This may not be the strongest Chiefs team selected but we know that the confidence in the whole squad will be sky high after five wins in a row. The Blues will want to give their fans something to cheer about in what is their last match of the competition. There are players like Rieko Ioane and Caleb Clarke who have a lot to prove after a disappointing season and will want to remind the All Black selectors of their class. The Chiefs players on the other hand will want to impress their coach and maybe force their way into the matchday squad for the final. The domestic rivalry between the NZ teams makes certain that there is never a dead rubber so we can still expect big hits and ferocious tackling from both sides.  Sean Wainui is given the captains armband for this clash and I’m sure he will do whatever it takes to keep the Chiefs winning record intact. The area the Blues definitely have the advantage is the forwards as the Chiefs have a very inexperienced pack but they do have stalwart Liam Messam on the bench to assist later in the game.

TIP: The Chiefs may have one eye on next week’s final but they will not give the Blues an easy ride in this match. The Blues will not only want the win but will want to win by a convincing margin. Last week Bryn Gatland showed his class and will look to use his booming boot to keep the Blues at bay. The Blues have great attacking threats but have struggled to link up with their players and will hope that Otere Black and provide that playmaking option to bring the likes of Ioane and Clarke into the game. The Blues should prove to be too strong for this weakened Chiefs team but I don’t expect it to be a landslide victory. The best odds on the Blues victory are at Worldsportsbetting 1.25, Hollywoodbets 1.18 and Sunbet 1.23  

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Blues vs Chiefs

  • In the last five meetings there have been 3 Blues victories to the Chiefs 2 wins.
  • In the last 10 home games against the Chiefs the Blues have only won twice..
  • The Chiefs won the last encounter between the sides 15-12.

Latest results for both teams

The Blues lost their last match against the Crusaders 6-29 while the Chiefs won their last game against the Hurricanes 26-24.

PREDICTION

The Blues will be looking for redemption in what has been a disappointing campaign and will probably look at the last minute loss the last time these teams met as the turning point of their season. There will be a fair amount of revenge on the Blues minds but they will need to put in an 80 minute performance to beat the Chiefs who are on a hot streak. The Chiefs coach has rested all his big name stars and left the young inexperienced players to face the Blues and this is the reason I am going for the Blues victory by more than 8 points

  • Probable Starting XVs

Blues

15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane ©, 12 Tanielu Tele’a, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Adrian Choat, 6 Tom Robinson ©, 5 Sam Darry, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.

Chiefs

15. Kaleb Trask, 14. Bailyn Sullivan, 13. Sean Wainui, Rameka Poihipi, 11. Shaun Stevenson, 10. Bryn Gatland, 9. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 8. Pita Gus Sowakula, 7. Zane Kapeli, 6. Viliami Taulani 5. Josh Lord, 4. Samipeni Finau, 3. Sione Mafileo 2. Bradley Slater, 1.Ollie Norris

Odds for this bet

There are the best odds on the Blues win:

Worldsportsbetting 1.25

Hollywoodbets 1.18

Sunbet 1.23

Odds comparison on a Chiefs handicap

The complete odds on the Chiefs handicap are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting (+11.5) 1.90

Sunbet (+12.5) 1.84

Predictions and Odds in details

The biggest problem with the Blues has been their lack of tries although they have probably the best team on paper. The halfback combination continues to be a problem for the Blues and their inability to be creative has made it easy for opposition defence to negate any attack. The Chiefs boast an incredible desire to win as their last 4 victories have been after the 80 minutes. Their never say die attitude has won them many plaudits but it remains to be seen if this second string team has that same commitment. I expect the Blues to win this contest but I also expect the Chiefs to be competitive right to the very last whistle therefore I suggest a value bet on the Chiefs handicap. These are the best odds on the Chiefs handicap: Worldsportsbetting (+11.5) 1.90 and Sunbet (+12.5) 1.84

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