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Highlanders vs Hurricanes Predictions & Tips - Highlanders backed to pile misery on Hurricanes
- Highlanders vs Hurricanes predictions for Friday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa fixture
- Match is being played at 06:05 GMT at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin
- Ash Dixon has scored a try in 3 of his last 4 home starts in Super Rugby Aotearoa
- I am backing the Highlanders take the points from this match
- Preview, predictions, stats & team news
Highlanders backed for victory over Highladers at home (Getty Images)
Highlanders vs Hurricanes Predictions
The Highlanders have performed above expectations this season while their opponents are well below what was expected. Form is certainly with the hosts so my best bet is for the Highlanders to sneak over the line and take the points.
- Highlanders have won 3 of their last 4 home matches against the Hurricanes.
- Highlanders won their last home match against the Hurricanes 38-21.
- Highlanders’ Ash Dixon has scored 3 tries in his last 4 home starts.
- Hurricanes have lost their last 3 matches.
- Hurricanes have conceded 30+ points in each of their last 3 matches.
Head to Head
The Hurricanes lead the Highlanders 20-15 in their last 35 matches. The Highlanders won their last encounter 38-21 during 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa at the Forsyth Barr Stadium
The Highlanders currently sit third on the Super Rugby Aotearoa table with one win and two defeats from their three matches.
On the opening weekend the Highlanders put in an impressive showing but lost out 26-13 at home to the Crusaders. That was followed by an excellent second half performance as the Highlanders came from behind to beat the Chiefs 39-23 away.
In their last match the Highlanders went down 39-17 away to the Blues. It was the first time this season that they were comprehensively outplayed.
While the Highlanders were never really considered title challengers, they will have hopes of retaining third place.
Highlanders Injuries & Team News
Aaron Smith will overtake Ben Smith as the most capped Highlanders player this weekend when he runs onto the park. It will be his 154th appearance for the Otago-based outfit.
Freedom Vahaakolo will make his debut at right wing after a string of impressive Mitre 10 performances. There is another debut awaiting Japanese international, Fumiaki Tanaka who will start on the bench.
The Hurricanes have lost all three of their opening Super Rugby Aotearoa matches. They are bottom of the table with a -38 points difference and one point.
After an up and down 2020 season, the Hurricanes were expected to improve this time around. Unfortunately they have not hit their straps at all.
They began their campaign with a home 31-16 defeat to the Blues before losing 33-16 at the Crusaders. In week three the Canes had a bye but they returned to action last weekend with a 35-29 home defeat to the Chiefs.
To put that in perspective, the Chiefs had lost their previous 10 matches.
Hurricanes Injuries & Team News
Veteran hooker, Dan Coles returns from injury to start this weekend.
Half-back pairing, Simon Hickey and Jackson Garden-Bachop have been ruled out for the season. That means that 19-year-old Ruben Love comes onto the bench this weekend. He will cover both flyhalf and midfield.
Highlanders vs Hurricanes Live Stream FAQ
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The Highlanders have looked a cohesive unit this season while the Hurricanes have lost all three matches thus far. I'm backing the Highlanders to come out on top and Ash Dixon to score.
Best Bet: Highlanders Win Full Time Result @-153.85 at BetMGM - 4 Units
Anytime Try scorer Tip: Ash Dixon Anytime Try scorer @160.00 at bet365 Sport NJ - 1 Unit
First Try Scorer Tip: Ash Dixon First Try Scorer @1400.0 at Borgata Sports - 1 Unit