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Moana Pasifika player ratings vs Chiefs | Super Rugby Pacific

By Jack O'Rourke
Neria Foma'i. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

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Moana Pasifika hosted the Chiefs at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland for their first home game on Saturday night for round five of Super Rugby Pacific, in what was the only New Zealand-based match this weekend. 


Moana Pasifika played only their second game of Super Rugby Pacific ever after three of their matches were postponed due to Covid. The Pasifika team challenged the Chiefs early on in the game, countering the Chiefs opening try with one of their own. However, Moana Pasifika was starved of territory and possession for most of the game, and the Chiefs ran in two more tries before halftime.

The Chiefs continued their try-scoring efforts two minutes into the second half and from there it was pretty much one-way traffic as they took advantage of Moana Pasifika’s mistakes at set-piece, winning the game 59-12. The Chiefs ran in nine tries to Moana Pasifika’s two, who scored a late consolation try. 

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What it’s like being the only non-Fijian player in the Fijian Drua.
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Here’s how Moana Pasifika rated:

1. Ezekiel Lindenmuth – 4/10
Was outmuscled by his opposition number in the first half and the scrum struggled against the Chiefs pack. To give him credit, he worked hard and lasted until the 68th minute. 

2. Luteru Tolai – 5.5
Used his hulking frame to bust open the Chiefs defence off the ruck on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, he had a couple over-throws at lineout time when Moana Pasifika were in an attacking position. 

3. Sekope Kepu – 6.5
The skipper led his team valiantly and played an important part in setting up a platform for Moana Pasifika’s attack early on. He has become an important part of their pack, not just for his off-field experience but also for his scrum ability and leadership on the park. 


4. Mike McKee – 4.5
Communication was off at the line-out which resulted in McKee mistiming some jumps. Suffered a shoulder injury in the first half and was replaced at half-time. 

5. Samuel Slade – 6
Worked hard around the park, and put in a huge shift in defence, making 13 tackles. Went off for running repairs around the 20-minute mark following a head-clash with Leali’ifano but returned shortly after. Won some crucial line-outs in the second half.   

6. Sione Tu’ipulotu – 4.5
Making his starting debut, the 24-year old Tu’ipulotu made eight tackles and was targeted once in the line-out.


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7. Solomone Funaki – 5
The rookie backrower was tireless all game but struggled to impose himself on the match. He made 17 tackles, finishing second on the team’s tackle count. 

8. Henry Time-Stowers – 6.5
Showed off his physicality by carrying hard at the line and winning the collisions in defence for the full 80 minutes. Put in a team-high 22 tackles and 41 carry metres. Was shown a big fend from Tupou Vaa’i as the Chiefs flanker went over for a try under the posts. 

9. Jonathan Taumateine – 5
The Samoan international showed some nice control at the base of the ruck but his combination with Leali’ifano never truly clicked. Subbed off at the 61st-minute mark. 

10. Christian Leali’ifano – 5.5
Delivered a perfect pass to put his winger Fomai in for Moana Pasifika’s first try. Went off for HIA in the 20th minute but returned shortly after. From there he created some attacking chances for his outside backs by keeping the ball alive but wasn’t as influential as he would have hoped for. Was yellow-carded in the 57th minute. 

11. Neria Foma’i – 6
Burst onto a pass from Leali’ifano and put on a devastating left-foot step to score Moana Pasifika’s opening try. Was destructive in his carries and would have benefited from more ball in his hands. Was exposed on the outside as a result of his centres bunching up in defence. 

12. Danny Toala – 4.5
Carried hard through the middle five times, shrugging off defenders in close contact and making 38 metres. Often made poor reads in defence, missing three tackles, which opened up holes for the opposition. 

13. Levi Aumua – 5.5
Was immense in defence in the first half, and killed the Chiefs attacking momentum with a huge hit in midfield on Bryn Gatland. When the game opened up for the Chiefs in the second half, he was guilty of jamming in on defence, and the Chiefs exposed the space outside. Replaced by Fine Inisi in the 63rd minute. 

14. Tima Fainga’anuku – 4
Was starved of opportunities with ball in hand, and when he did he was forced to run into heavy contact. His only major involvement was delivering a nice offload to set up a Moana Pasifika attacking break.


15. William Havili – 5
Looked for ways to inject himself into the backline and find space but all ways were shut to the Moana Pasifika fullback. Took on the kicking duties to get them out of their own end. Reeled off a massive 50/22 that set up a Moanna Pasifika attacking opportunity.


16. Samiuela Moli – 5.5
Came on in the 55th minute and brought some consistency to the line-out and scrum. 

17. Taukiha’amea Koloamatagi – N/A
Came on late in the game. 

18. Joe Apikotoa – 5.5
The Hawke’s Bay prop came on and worked hard to lift his team. Scored a late try for Moana Pasifika. 

19. Alex McRobbie – N/A
Came on to refresh the locks and supported his forward at set-piece. 

20. Josh Kaifa – N/A 
Came on late in the game. 

21. Ereatara Enari – 6
Brought energy and tempo to Moana Pasifika when they were struggling late in the second half.  When he came on Moana Pasifika were able to gain possession for some extended phases. 

22. Lincoln McClutchie – 5.5
Replaced Lea 20 minutes into the game after a HIA. Re-entered the fray in the 69th minute and created a few chances but couldn’t connect effectively with his backline in the time he was on the field. 

23. Fine Inisi – 4.5
Brought with him lots of energy off the bench but wasn’t able to make much impact late in the game.


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