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Moana Pasifika ring in the changes for round two against the Blues

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Moana Pasifika have named their team to play the rematch against the Blues on Saturday. Round 7 of DHL Super Rugby Pacific sees the two Auckland-based teams play each other twice in the space of four days.

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With the short turnaround, Head Coach Aaron Mauger has named a very different side to the team who went down on Tuesday 32-19.

Sekope Kepu returns to Captain the side and is joined in the front row by Ezekiel Lindenmuth and Samiuela Moli at hooker. Veikoso Poloniati and Michael Curry will combine at lock to round out the tight five. Curry started Tuesday’s match and earnt his start on Saturday after a tremendous performance on debut.

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The same starting loose forward trio from Moana Pasifika’s historic 24-19 win over the Hurricanes will return to the field with Tu’ipulotu, Funaki and Time-Stowers set to play at Eden Park.

Ereatara Enari will combine with Christian Leali’ifano in a new 9 & 10 combination which boasts plenty of Super Rugby experience.

An unchanged starting midfield combination in Solomone Kata and Fine Inisi will look to build on their fine form from Tuesday’s game.

Playing three games in eight days has seen several debutants take the field and Tasman Mako flyer Timoci Tavatavanawai will make his long awaited debut on the right wing. Anzelo Tuitavuki keeps his left wing spot from Tuesday and William Havili returns to fullback.

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There is plenty of impact and firepower to come from the bench with the likes of experienced Manu Samoa halfback Dwayne Polataivao and Tuesday night try scorers Luteru Tolai, Abraham Pole and Tomasi Alosio.

Moana Pasifika team to play the Blues:

  1. Ezekiel Lindenmuth
  2. Samiuela Moli
  3. Sekope Kepu (C)
  4. Veikoso Poloniati
  5. Michael Curry
  6. Sione Tu’ipulotu
  7. Solomone Funaki
  8. Henry Time-Stowers
  9. Ereatara Enari
  10. Christian Leali’ifano
  11. Anzelo Tuitavuki
  12. Solomone Kata
  13. Fine Inisi
  14. Timoci Tavatavanawai (debut)
  15. William Havili

    Reserves

  16. Luteru Tolai
  17. Abraham Pole
  18. Chris Apoua
  19. Alex McRobbie
  20. Alamanda Motuga
  21. Dwayne Polataivao
  22. Lincoln McClutchie
  23. Tomasi Alosi

Unavailable for selection: Xavier Cowley-Tuioti, Jack Lam, Josh Kaifa, Isi Tu’ungafasi, Lotu Inisi, Don Lolo, D’Angelo Leuila, Niko Jones, Levi Aumua, Danny Toala, Henry Taefu, Taukiaha’amea Koloamtangi, Lolagi Visinia, Manu Paea, Jonathan Taumateine, Samuel Slade, Neria Foma’i, Tima Fainga’anuku, Ray Niuia

– Press Release Moana Pasifika

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Shaylen 9 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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