Watch Blues vs Western Force Live Stream - Saturday 12 June 09:05

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Saturday 12 June 09:05

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World - Super Rugby - Second stage

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Streams for Blues vs Western Force


SUPER RUGBY TRANS-TASMAN ROUND 5

AUCKLAND BLUES VS WESTERN FORCE

SATURDAY JUNE 12, 7.05 PM, EDEN PARK, AUCKLAND

Auckland can secure a home final here, by winning with a bonus point, in what looks to be their tournament to lose, especially if Canterbury’s plans don’t go accordingly, while the Force will be out to show their worth, in difficult circumstances.  The Force have a single bonus point to their competition tally so far, and have not been overly competitive in recent weeks, which is reflected in their -56 points differential, after a pair of solid results to start the tournament.  Auckland are top, and looking like they will be the team to host the Final, after 3 bonus point wins out of 4, and a strong 31-24, in difficult conditions against Australia’s best Queensland victors last weekend.  Almost ideal winter conditions are on hand in Auckland for this big game, in their backyard, which will surely see Eden Park packed to the rafters, as their hometown Blues rampage to the big-dance.

Auckland are looking to utilize their forwards depth here, as they have named Hodgman and Laulala as the starting props, resting Tu’inukuafe and Tuungafasi, with only the former on the bench.  The other forwards change for Auckland is the inclusion of Sotutu at number 8 ahead of Ioane, while their halves and backs remain the same.  The Force have named their strongest available pack, and have no changes from the team that were well beaten by Canterbury last weekend.  Prior and McIntyre get starts in the halves here, ahead of Cubelli and Miotti for the Force, while Olowofela returns on the wing, replacing Pulu.

Way back in 2017, the last time the Force participated in Super Rugby, apart from 2020 where there was no inter-continental play, it was 24-15 in favour of the Blues, though these teams are entirely different.  Auckland are $2.30 2nd favourites to win this competition, though it would appear they have the Final at home all but booked, while favourites Canterbury have work to do; the Force are out of the title race and just making up numbers at this point, while contracts are surely on the line.  Auckland are $1.03 favourites to win this game by some 2 dozen points, while the Force are $11 outsiders and highly unlikely to upset the Blues plans.

PREDICTION: Only result here that makes any sense is the Blues by at least a couple of dozen or more.

BETTING TIP: $1.93 for Auckland to beat their handicap of 24.5 points is an interesting wager.

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