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Moana Pasifika player ratings vs Hurricanes | Super Rugby Pacific

By Jack O'Rourke
Levi Aumua. (Photo by Marty Melville/Photosport)

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Moana Pasifika travelled to Wellington to play the Hurricanes on Tuesday night for Super Rugby Pacific, in what was Moana Pasifika’s second game in four days in their gruelling catch-up schedule.

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Veteran playmaker Christian Leali’ifano was named as captain of Moana Pasifika in the absence of injured Sekope Kepu in a side that featured a raft of changes due to injuries and squad rotation. 

The Hurricanes started strong out of the gates in the first half, scoring three tries. Moana Pasifika managed a try of their own but it was evident that the visiting side lacked urgency and energy. The trend continued in the second half, as Moana Pasifika were forced to defend for long periods of the match and struggled to get their hands on the ball. Despite another try for Moana Pasifika in the second half, the Hurricanes continued to score at will utilising the rolling maul and ran out 53-12 victors. 

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Why rolling maul tries aren’t as bad as they’re made out to be.
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Why rolling maul tries aren’t as bad as they’re made out to be.

Discipline continues to be an issue for Moana Pasifika and the mission only gets harder for them with a game against the Chiefs scheduled for Saturday.

Here’s how Moana Pasifika rated:

1. Abraham Pole – 4.5/10
Pole has earned a few starts now since transferring to Moana Pasifika. He went close to scoring in the first half. There was a lot of scrum resets in the game as Moana Pasifika struggled to keep the scrum stable. 

2. Samiuela Moli – 4
Had a number of poor lineout throws in the first half which were easy turnovers for the Hurricanes. Was physical in defence, dishing out some big hits. 

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3. Joe ‘Apikotoa – 5
Had to do a lot of defending in the first half making 11 tackles. Still finding his feet at Super Rugby level. Was replaced shortly after halftime. 

4. Mahonri Ngakuru – 4
Earned his first start at lock. He nabbed a lineout win but missed three tackles of his seven tackles attempted. Replaced early in the second half. 

5. Samuel Slade – 4.5
Was subbed off for running repairs to a nasty gash early in the match. Returned for the second half, making 10 tackles and acting as his side’s main target at lineout time. He continued to struggle with the strapping around his head leaking blood throughout the game.

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6. Alex McRobbie – 5.5
Worked hard around the park all night and played out the full 80 minutes. Won four lineouts for his team and scored an important try to open the scoring in the second half which kept his team in touch. 

7. Alamanda Motuga – 6
Played the game with plenty of energy, which is remarkable in itself given his workload over the past few weeks. The opposition would have definitely felt the impact of all his carries in close quarters and provided a bright spark in an otherwise dismal performance from the forwards. 

8. Henry Time-Stowers – 7
Returned to pack down at the back of the scrum and quickly picked up where he left off, enforcing his physicality on the game. Topped the team’s tackle count yet again with 16 tackles, only missing one. Also won a crucial turnover against the run of play. He is fast becoming a key man in Moana Pasifika’s line-up. 

9. Jonathan Taumateine – 5
Was able to recycle the ball quickly and organise his forwards in tight. Provide good distribution from the base of the ruck but never presented much of an attacking threat.  

10. Christian Leali’ifano – 4.5
It was a special match for Christian, taking over captaincy duties for the game. Unfortunately, he wasn’t afforded any space to create chances for his outside backs and struggled to build any momentum for his team. 

11. Neria Foma’i – 4
Wasn’t sighted with the ball very often. Even when the ball got to him, needless kicks and poor handling gave possession straight back to the opposition. 

12. Danny Toala – 4
Found spaces in the wide channels and tried to use his strength the break open the defence on a number of occasions, but not many opportunities were presented to him. Made some poor kicking decisions with ball in hand. 

13. Levi Aumua – 6
Was well contained for most of the game and didn’t get a chance to showcase his ball-carrying ability and thundering runs until late in the piece. Still managed to break four tackles and offload the ball twice. 

14. Tima Fainga’anuku – 4
Hard to think of times when he got the ball with any time and space to do anything with it. Still managed to run for 24 metres and beat two defenders. 

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15. Lolagi Visinia – 5.5
Looked comfortable in his first start at the back. He came into the attacking line to inject some go forward but often came against some staunch Hurricanes defence. 

Reserves:

16. Ray Niuia – 5
Came on early in the second half and Moana Pasifika’s lineout seemed to improve. 

17. Ezekiel Lindenmuth – N/A
On in the 50th minute.

18. Taukiha’amea Koloamatangi – N/A
On in the 50th minute.

19. Michael Curry – 6.5
Entered the action in the 17th minute as a blood-bin replacement for Slade. Nabbed a lineout and scored Moana Pasifika’s first try of the game. Replaced Ngakuru in the second half. 

20. Penitoa Finau – 5.5
When he made it on the field he brought some much-needed energy to proceedings which allowed his fellow forwards to get a roll-on. 

21. Manu Paea – N/A
Entered the game briefly as a blood-bin replacement for Taumateine. Came on again to finish out the game. 

22. Lincoln McClutchie – 5
On in the 56th minute and tried to spark his backline into action. Looked good with the ball in hand but those moments were few and far between. 

23. Henry Taefu – N/A
Replaced Toala in the 49th minute and carried hard through the middle.

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