ANZAC Day Battle

Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au/Getty Images
The Waratahs can to add to their away-from-home record when they take on the Blues. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au/Getty Images
Blues v Waratahs
Eden Park  
Friday, April 25 – 3.35pm (AEST)  

What did they do last week? 
The Blues suffered a bad loss to the Hurricanes 20-39 in Wellington while the Waratahs added to the Bulls' touring woes by beating them 19-12.

Things you need to know: 
The Blues have had some turmoil in the camp this week over the Benji Marshall situation which was compounded by the injury to the preferred option at first five-eighths in Chris Noakes. However, that has seen Simon Hickey re-introduced while there will be great interest in the play of Ihaia West should he get on the field. That he was left without a Super Rugby contract after his ITM Cup performances last year was one of the mysteries of the contract process. The Waratahs are enjoying their best season for years and playing some attractive rugby is a big part of that. Add in Israel Folau's performances and there is the prospect of some fireworks in this Anzac Day clash.

Reason to watch:
The Blues have had their woes but there is no doubting the firepower they have in their backline. If they get enough ball then there should be some memorable play from both sides in what has all the potential to be a high-scoring affair.

Reason to turn away: 
Two international front rows are playing in this game but the fear will be that mucking around at scrum time could be an issue.

Say what: "The key statistic in rugby is the conversion rate and not just in tries, but converting the opportunities you make to go further down the field to keep the ball and put pressure on the opposition." – Waratahs coach Michael Cheika.

Final instructions: Australian teams have struggled, for whatever reason, to win on Eden Park but that won't be enough for the Blues. So well are the visitors playing that they need only to knit together a high-quality performance to seriously trouble the home team which has lost its try-scoring oomph. However, there is always the potential to explode on attack and if the Blues can get some momentum they could be very hard to stop. They need to achieve dominance in the tight and to eliminate the mistakes and turnovers that have been such a frustration in recent weeks. However, the Kurtley Beale-Israel Folau threat is a big one and could make life tough for the home side.

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