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Blues start week two at the top of the table ahead of Highlanders, who don’t play this weekend. Crusaders will play their opening game in the competition on Sunday when they play Hurricanes who lost out 20-30 to Blues in week 1.
Saturday, 20th June 2020: Chiefs v Blues at FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, kick-off 8.05am Irish time.
Officials: Ben O’Keeffe (referee), Mike Fraser (AR1), Paul Williams (AR2), James Doleman (TMO).
The Chiefs have lost only one of their last 17 Super Rugby games against the Blues (W15, D1) and earned a 37-29 win when they met in the opening round of the 2020 Super Rugby season.
The Chiefs have won their last eight home games on the bounce against the Blues; however, five of those eight wins have been by a margin of seven points or fewer.
The Chiefs have lost their last two home games in Super Rugby; the last time they lost more home games in succession was a four-game stretch across the 2001 and 2002 campaigns.
The Chiefs have trailed at half-time in each of their last eight Super Rugby games against New Zealand opposition; although, they have picked up three wins and a draw in that time (L4).
The Blues have won their last four away games in Super Rugby; a fifth consecutive win on the road would set a new record for the Auckland club.
The Blues have won their last five Super Rugby games on the bounce; the last time they won more was a seven-game streak in 2011.
The Chiefs have conceded the opening try of the game in two of their last three Super Rugby games hosting fellow New Zealand opponents; however, they have managed to bounce back and win twice in that span (L1).
The Blues won 10 turnovers in their opening round clash of Super Rugby Aotearoa, their most in a game since Round 16, 2018 (11 v Rebels); the Auckland side haven’t won more than 10 turnovers in a game against the Chiefs since Round 8, 2015 (11).
Damian McKenzie (Chiefs) has been directly involved in nine tries in his last nine Super Rugby appearances (3 tries, 6 try assists) and has scored 104 points in that span.
Rieko Ioane (Blues) has scored three tries in his last three Super Rugby appearances against the Chiefs, including a brace in his most recent game against them.
Sunday, 21st June 2020: Hurricanes v Crusaders at Sky Stadium in Wellington, kick-off 4.35am Irish time.
Officials: Brendon Pickerill (referee), James Doleman (AR1), Ben O’Keeffe (AR2), Mike Fraser (TMO)
The Crusaders have won their last five Super Rugby games on the bounce against the Hurricanes; the last time they won more in succession against them was a seven-game stretch from 2005 to 2008.
The Hurricanes have won five of their last six Super Rugby games at home to the Crusaders; however, their sole loss in that span came in their most recent home meeting against them.
The Hurricanes will be aiming to avoid back-to-back Super Rugby defeats at home for the first time since Round 4, 2014 after losing 24-15 to the Blues in their most recent game on home turf.
The Hurricanes have lost two of their last three Super Rugby games (W1) and will be out to avoid back-to-back regular season defeats for the first time since June 2018.
The Crusaders have won nine of their last 10 Super Rugby games (L1), including their last four on the bounce; those nine wins have come by an average margin of 23 points per game.
The Crusaders have lost two of their last three games in Super Rugby away to fellow New Zealand opponents (W1), scoring an average of just 22 points per game in that stretch.
The Hurricanes players beat a combined 42 defenders in their last Super Rugby encounter with the Crusaders; only once in the last decade has any Hurricanes squad beaten more in a single game (43 v Sunwolves in Round 1, 2017).
The Crusaders conceded just six first-half tries during the 2020 Super Rugby season, the joint-fewest of any team in the competition.
Ben Lam (Hurricanes) has crossed for a try in each of his last five Super Rugby games – the longest streak of his career in the competition; he has also bagged four tries in his last four games against the Crusaders.
David Havili (Crusaders) made a competition-high 14 offloads throughout the 2020 Super Rugby season; it is as many as he had made throughout the previous 29 games of his career in the competition.