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Blues vs Highlanders Predictions & Tips - Blues backed for narrow win
- Blues vs Highlanders predictions for Sunday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa match
- Fixture is being played at 02:35 GMT at Eden Park in Auckland
- Blues have won their last 2 matches against the Highlanders by less than 12 points
- I am backing the Blues to win by 12 or less points
- Preview, predictions, stats & team news
Blues backed for victory by 1-12 points (Getty Images)
Blues vs Highlanders Predictions
The Highlanders are much improved this season but face a quality Blues outfit. I expect the Blues to get the victory by no more than 12 points.
- Blues have won their last 4 home matches.
- Blues have won their last 2 matches by 11 & 3 points against the Highlanders.
- Blues have won 3 of their last 5 home matches against the Highlanders by less than 7 points.
- Highlanders have not won back-to-back Super Rugby matches since 2019.
Head to Head
The Highlanders have won seven of their last 11 matches against the Blues. It is however the Blues who have won their last two encounters. The Blues won their last match 32-21 during the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament.
The Blues will be looking to continue the momentum they built up on the opening weekend after having a bye last time out.
In the opening round, the Blues were impressive in their 31-16 victory over the Hurricanes. The first half saw the Blues struggle for continuity but they came alive in the second stanza.
The Blues outscored the Hurricanes by four tries to two and carried the ball more than 200 meters more than their opponents. The Auckland-based outfit will continue this ball in hand approach on Sunday and they’ll hope the high tempo unsettles their visitors.
Blues Injuries & Team News
The Blues had a bye last week so players with niggles have had two weeks to recover. They should be at full strength for this encounter.
Tom Robinson could come in at flank after impressing off the bench on the opening weekend.
The Highlanders have shown improvement since last season and will be no pushover in Auckland. They were impressive against the Crusaders in an opening weekend 26-13 home defeat where they missed numerous scoring opportunities.
Last week the Highlanders came back from 20-6 down at the break to beat the Chiefs 39-23. It was an incredible second half performance where the Highlanders ran in five tries.
The Highlanders did concede 10 turnovers against the Chiefs which will be a huge concern. A repeat of that this weekend will almost certainly lead to a big defeat, given the Blues quality off turnover possession.
Highlanders Injuries & Team News
The Highlanders have no reported injuries but after two grueling weeks will likely look to make changes.
New Zealand international, Liam Squire has spent the last two matches warming the bench. He should be back to start in the second-row.
Aaron Smith will almost certainly come in for Folau Fakatava at scrumhalf.
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