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Hurricanes ‘really keen’ to return home against Moana Pasifika this weekend

By Finn Morton
Ardie Savea of the Hurricanes leads his team off the field after warming up during the round 10 Super Rugby Pacific match between Hurricanes and ACT Brumbies at Sky Stadium, on April 28, 2023, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Coming off their shock loss to the Fijian Drua last weekend, the Hurricanes have made six changes to their run-on side to take on the Moana Pasifika in Wellington.

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Back at Sky Stadium with a family-friendly kick-off time of 4.35pm NZST on Saturday, the Hurricanes have made some intriguing changes to their team.

All Blacks Asafo Aumua and Dane Coles are both unavailable this week, so hooker Jacob Devery is set for his first start of the Super Rugby Pacific campaign.

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Devery will pack down in the front row alongside Tevita Mafileo and Tyrel Lomax, while James Blackwell is also set to take his place in the run-on side at lock.

The Hurricanes certainly pack a punch in their backrow, though, with coach Jason Holland turning to his familiar loose forward trio of Devan Flanders, Du’Plessis Kirifi and captain Ardie Savea.

Jamie Booth is back in the No. 9 jersey this week, and will start alongside rising star Aidan Morgan in the halves.

New Zealand under-20s star Harry Godfrey is also set to return to the run-on side, having been given the nod to start at fullback.

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Coach Jason Holland said the Hurricanes are “really keen” to play in front of their home fans this weekend.

“The fans in Fiji were absolutely amazing but the boys are really keen to get back out in front of home fans this weekend,” Holland said in a statement.

“A family-friendly kick-off is a great opportunity for the fans to get their families together and get behind the boys.”

The Hurricanes’ match against Moana Pasifika is set to kick-off at 4.35pm NZST on Saturday afternoon at Wellington’s Sky Stadium.

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Hurricanes team to take on Moana Pasifika

  1. Tevita Mafileo
  2. Jacob Devery
  3. Tyrel Lomax
  4. James Blackwell
  5. Isaia Walker-Leawere
  6. Devan Flanders
  7. Du’Plessis Kirifi
  8. Ardie Savea (c)
  9. Jamie Booth
  10. Aidan Morgan
  11. Kini Naholo
  12. Jordie Barrett
  13. Billy Proctor
  14. Salesi Rayasi
  15. Harry Godfrey

Replacements:

  1. Hame Faiva
  2. Pouri Rakete-Stones
  3. Pasilio Tosi
  4. Caleb Delany
  5. Brayden Iose
  6. Logan Henry
  7. Peter Umaga-Jensen
  8. Josh Moorby

Unavailable: Ruben Love, Tyler Laubscher, Reed Prinsep, TJ Perenara, Brett Cameron, Daniel Sinkinson, Bailyn Sullivan, Dane Coles, Asafo Aumua

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N
Nickers 1 hours ago
'One of the poorest All Blacks performances I've seen in a long time'

Extreme hyperbole from Biggar. NZ have played far, far worse than that. The 20/21 team was by far the worst of the professional era. Losses to Argentina, shambolic game against Japan and hapless NH tour of 2021. But even that dreadful team were able to put 50 points on Wales and beat them by 38. Much easier to “tear them to pieces” from the commentary box apparently. Ignored by virtually everyone is how good the ABs defence was. That is why England didn’t win, they simply could not score enough points against that defence. The ABs attack was very average, but their defence was world class and that’s what won them the game. Any Wales team that Biggar has ever played for would have found themselves in the same situation and would definitely not have scored tries from those cross kicks. That ABs team beats Biggar’s best Wales team 31 - 13. England’s attack was as good as it was allowed to be by a superior defence. Hats off to Hansen, he has picked up where MacLeod finally got the ABs to last year and not missed a step. England’s attack will be a big worry for Borthwick. They have not established a reliable, repeatable way to break teams down and score points. They were held to some very low scores by average teams in the 6N, and again here didn’t cross 20 points on either occasion. If I was an England fan I would be crying out for a new attack coach. Borthwick would do well to cast his net now, a poor home winter with a faltering attack will start the calls for his job.

13 Go to comments
T
Thomas 1 hours ago
'Champions get up when they can't': Matt Williams weighs in on Ireland's win over Boks

While both teams have their particular positives, I think neither team should rest on their laurels. South Africa managed to tie a series against an uncomfortable opponent, that has had their numbers for a couple of years, while trial-running a completely new attack system, that still doesn’t work properly. But one aspect of “it doesn’t work yet” is a transition from attack to defense in broken play, as the Boks leaked three tries in two matches this way, and lost the second match as a result. Ireland avoided a series loss in a hostile environment, and in spite of many key player injuries, while managing to significantly improve and tighten their defense in game 2 (which demonstrates the breadth of their squad as well as their ability to adjust and recalibrate). At the same time, their own attack hadn’t amounted to much, either (save from exploiting the gaps in the Boks’ new system, gaps that won’t be there anymore in a few months’ time), and they haven’t found an answer to the Boks scrum, which almost costed them the 2nd match, if it hadn’t been for pretty much unrepeatable Frawley heroics. In the end, there isn’t much that separates those two sides … which is exactly what we knew before the series already. Back to the drawing board for both teams, the work only just begins for two teams with the highest ambition. Start of a cycle alright.

16 Go to comments
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