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Super Rugby Pacific, Round 15 - teams and predictions

PREVIEW: With their Super Rugby Pacific play-off opponents already locked in, the Reds are determined not to be derailed by the Waratahs in their last-round clash in Sydney.

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Regardless of results this weekend, the fifth-placed Reds will take on the fourth-placed Chiefs in Waikato in week one of the play-offs.

Queensland are looking to take winning momentum into that match, but are wary of a wounded Waratahs team, who are set to finish dead last.

It’s also the final match for NSW coach Darren Coleman, whose contract hasn’t been renewed.

Reds coach Les Kiss said he was delighted with his side’s 59-13 win over the Western Force and wanted to keep building on that.

“There’s a lot of things that we were happy with – one of the most important things is to just create a bit of momentum,” Kiss said.

“Our game wasn’t struggling, but it was moving along and was a bit up and down, but certain parts of our game needed to get back on track and [they] did.”

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The coach also saw the annual clash between the traditional arch-rivals for the Bob Templeton Cup as a key battle in Australia.

“This is probably the most important game in the calendar for Australian rugby, the Tahs versus Queensland,” Kiss said on Tuesday.

“We need to stay on-task.

“This game is important – there’s a trophy up for grabs, which we currently own, so we want to do what’s necessary to win it.

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“They’ll have reason to play well, their last home game and a few farewells, and we know that’ll bring a lot of emotional and physical energy, so we just need to be up for that.”

(Continue below …_)

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All the permutations

What we do know is the Reds will travel to Hamilton to face the Chiefs after Clayton McMillian’s side went down to the Hurricanes in the final minutes last Friday.

Outside of that? It’s anyone’s guess after a wild round of action.

The Crusaders’ 29-26 win over the Blues has had major ramifications at the top and bottom of the ladder as the defending champions kept their defence alive.

It pushed them into tenth position, tied on points with the Western Force, who were thumped by the Reds, but behind on the tiebreaker (most wins).

Rob Penney’s side will face Moana Pasifika to open the round, who kept their own play-off dream alive with a victory over the NSW Waratahs to hand them last position.

The Force will know their play-off fate by the time they take the field on Saturday against the Brumbies in Perth.

All three chasing sides will be hoping the Rebels can defeat the Drua to open the door for them to strike.

Meanwhile, Stephen Larkham’s side were one of the biggest winners out of the weekend as they gained ground on both the Blues and Hurricanes.

They produced a clinical performance to claim maximum points against the Melbourne Rebels, with the Rebels locked into their maiden play-off after the Force’s defeat.

The Auckland-based side holds onto top spot on points difference but faces the Chiefs in a potential semifinal preview.

A second consecutive defeat could see them suddenly drop to third, with the Brumbies needing a Hurricanes loss on top of this to secure an unlikely minor premiership.

The Hurricanes just need a win over the Highlanders and a Blues defeat to ensure the play-off go through Wellington and claim the minor premiership.

All the weekend’s teams and predictions follow below

Friday, May 31

Crusaders v Moana Pasifika
(Addington Showgrounds, Christchurch – Kick-off: 19.05; 07.05 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Crusaders by 18 points

Teams

Crusaders: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Chay Fihaki, 13 Dallas McLeod, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Macca Springer, 10 Fergus Burke, 9 Noah Hotham, 8 Christian Lio-Willie, 7 Ethan Blackadder, 6 Cullen Grace, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Antonio Shalfoon, 3 Tamaiti Williams, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 George Bell, 17 George Bower, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Jamie Hannah, 20 Tom Christie, 21 Mitch Drummond, 22 Taine Robinson, 23 Heremaia Murray.

Moana Pasifika: 15 Kyren Taumoefolau, 14 Fine Inisi, 13 Henry Taefu, 12 Julian Savea, 11 Pepesana Patafilo, 10 William Havili, 9 Jonathan Taumateine, 8 Lotu Inisi, 7 Sione Havili Talitui (captain), 6 Jacob Norris, 5 Allan Craig, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Samiuela Moli, 1 Abraham Pole.
Replacements: 16 Tomasi Maka, 17 Ivan Fepuleai, 18 Suetena Asomua, 19 Ola Tauelangi, 20 Alamanda Motuga, 21 Aisea Halo, 22 Christian Lealiifano, 23 Nigel Ah Wong.

Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Matt Kellahan, Jeremy Markey
TMO: Brett Cronan

Waratahs v Reds
(Sydney Football Stadium – Kick-off: 19.35; 09.35 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Reds by 12 points

Teams

Waratahs: 15 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 14 Triston Reilly, 13 Joey Walton, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Dylan Pietsch, 10 Jack Bowen, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Langi Gleeson, 7 Charlie Gamble, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Miles Amatosero, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Tom Ross, 2 Jay Fonokalafi, 1 Paddy Ryan.
Replacements: 16 Ben Sugars, 17 Lewis Ponini, 18 Brad Amituanai, 19 Hugh Sinclair, 20 Fergus Lee-Warner, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Tane Edmed, 23 Izaia Perese.

Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Tim Ryan, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Mac Grealy, 10 Lawson Creighton, 9 Tate McDermott (co-captain), 8 Joe Brial, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright (co-captain), 5 Seru Uru, 4 Connor Vest, 3 Zane Nonggor, 2 Matt Faessler, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Replacements: 16 Josh Nasser, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen, 19 Ryan Smith, 20 John Bryant, 21 Kalani Thomas, 22 Tom Lynagh, 23 Taj Annan.

Referee: James Doleman
Assistant referees: Jono Bredin, Fraser Hannon
TMO: Chris Hart

Saturday, June 1

Fijian Drua v Rebels
(Churchill Park, Lautoka – Kick-off: 14.05; 12.05 Australian Eastern time; 02.05 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Fijian Drua by six points

Teams

Fijian Drua: 15 Ilaisa Droasese, 14 Selestino Ravutaumada, 13 Iosefo Masi, 12 Kemu Valetini, 11 Waqa Nalaga, 10 Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Meli Derenalagi (captain), 7 Kitione Salawa, 6 Etonia Waqa, 5 Leone Rotuisolia, 4 Mesake Vocevoce, 3 Mesake Doge, 2 Tevita Ikanivere, 1 Haereiti Hetet.
Replacements: 16 Zuriel Togiatama, 17 Livai Natave, 18 Samu Tawake, 19 Isoa Nasilasila, 20 Motikiai Murray, 21 Elia Canakaivata, 22 Simione Kuruvoli, 23 Caleb Muntz.

Rebels: 15 Mason Gordon, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Filipo Daugunu, 12 David Feiluai, 11 Darby Lancaster, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Rob Leota (captain), 7 Brad Wilkin, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Josh Canham, 4 Angelo Smith, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Isaac Kailea.
Replacements: 16 Ethan Dobbins, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Sam Talakai, 19 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20 Maciu Nabolakasi, 21 James Tuttle, 22 David Vaihu, 23 Jake Strachan.

Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant referees: Dan Waenga, Mike Winter
TMO: Richard Kelly

Hurricanes v Highlanders
(Wellington Regional Stadium – Kick-off: 16.35; 04.35 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Hurricanes by 16 points

Teams

Hurricanes: 15 Ruben Love, 14 Josh Moorby, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Jordie Barrett (captain), 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Brett Cameron, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brayden Iose, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Devan Flanders, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 James Tucker, 3 Pasilio Tosi, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia.
Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Tevita Mafileo, 19 Justin Sangster, 20 Peter Lakai, 21 Jordi Viljoen, 22 Riley Higgins, 23 Bailyn Sullivan.

Highlanders: 15 Finn Hurley, 14 Connor Garden-Bachop, 13 Matt Whaanga, 12 Sam Gilbert, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Ajay Faleafaga, 9 James Arscott, 8 Nikora Broughton, 7 Billy Harmon (co-captain), 6 Max Hicks, 5 Fabian Holland, 4 Will Tucker, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Henry Bell, 1 Ethan de Groot (co-captain).
Replacements: 16 Jack Taylor, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Saula Ma’u, 19 Tom Sanders, 20 Hayden Michaels, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Jake Te Hiwi, 23 Martín Bogado.

Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant referees: Reuben Keane, George Myers
TMO: Brett Cronan

Blues v Chiefs
(Eden Park, Auckland – Kick-off: 19.05; 07.05 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Blues by eight points

Teams

Blues: 15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Mark Tele’a, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 AJ Lam, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Harry Plummer, 9 Taufa Funaki, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papali’i, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Sam Darry, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (captain), 3 Marcel Renata, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Ofa Tu’ungafasi.
Replacements: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Joshua Fusitu’a, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Cameron Suafoa, 20 Adrian Choat, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Corey Evans, 23 Cole Forbes.

Chiefs: 15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Emoni Narawa, 13 Daniel Rona, 12 Rameka Poihipi, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Cortez Ratima, 8 Wallace Sititi, 7 Luke Jacobson (captain), 6 Samipeni Finau, 5 Jimmy Tupou, 4 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 3 George Dyer, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Aidan Ross.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Sione Ahio, 19 Simon Parker, 20 Kaylum Boshier, 21 Xavier Roe, 22 Quinn Tupaea, 23 Peniasi Malimali.

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant referees: Stu Curran, Jackson Henshaw
TMO: Glenn Newman

Western Force v Brumbies
(Perth Rectangular Stadium – Kick-off: 17.35; 09.35 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com: Brumbies by 14 points

Teams

Western Force: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 George Poolman, 13 Bayley Kuenzle, 12 Hamish Stewart, 11 Ronan Leahy, 10 Max Burey, 9 Nic White, 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Carlo Tizzano, 6 Jeremy Williams (captain), 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Ryan Coxon.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Marley Pearce, 18 Tiaan Tauakipulu, 19 Lopeti Faifua, 20 Will Harris, 21 Michael Wells, 22 Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 23 Sam Spink.

Brumbies: 15 Tom Wright, 14 Andy Muirhead, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Tamati Tua, 11 Corey Toole, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Ryan Lonergan, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Rory Scott, 6 Tom Hooper, 5 Nick Frost, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Billy Pollard, 1 Blake Schoupp.
Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Harry Vella, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Luke Reimer, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Ollie Sapsford.

Referee: Jordan way
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy, Jordan Kaminski
TMO: James Leckie

* Sources: AAP & @SuperRugby

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