Hurricanes make amends for last year’s shock loss by thrashing Moana Pasifika
26 March, 2023, 8:23 am
At Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland: Moana Pasifika 0, Hurricanes 59 (Josh Moorby try 8 min, Brett Cameron try 22 min, Cameron Roigard try 28 min Kini Naholo try 55 min, Salesi Rayasi tries 57 min, 66 min Ardie Savea try 68 min, Hame Faiva try 76 min, Peter Lakai try 80 min; Brett Cameron 7 cons). HT: 0-19
There was to be no repeat of last year’s historic win for Moana Pasifika at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday night as the Hurricanes avenged that loss with a 59-0 victory.
When this fixture took place last March, Moana Pasifika were able to record their first ever victory in Super Rugby Pacific, thanks to a Danny Toala golden point try.
But 12 months on, the Hurricanes had no intention of becoming Moana Pasifika’s bunnies and were convincing winners.
It was the Hurricanes’ fourth victory of the year, to move them up to second on the points table, while Moana Pasifika are still searching for their first victory of 2023.
Not that Moana Pasifika weren’t without opportunities to be in this game, but there were two key differences between these teams. The Hurricanes had the better scrum and they took their opportunities, while Moana Pasifika blew theirs.
Moana Pasifika lost No 8 Lotu Inisi with a leg injury in the opening seconds of the game and he had to be replaced by Miracle Faiilagi.
The start got worse for the home team. They gave away a penalty from a scrum inside their half and soon after the Hurricanes attacked wide where winger Kini Naholo took the ball, jumping like a lock, and flicked it back inside to the waiting fullback Josh Moorby, who scored a try.
Moana Pasifika looked to play positively and three times very kickable penalties were turned down soon after in favour of going for lineouts.
Winger Tima Fainga’anuku came close to scoring in the right corner, but just put a foot in touch before grounding the ball.
Another penalty conceded from a scrum gave the Hurricanes their next attacking opportunity and once again they came away with points as Brett Cameron skirted around the defence close to the posts to score.
Moana Pasifika’s defence looked stunned after that try and even though a Josh Moorby try was disallowed for Asafo Aumoa blocking Mike McKee from making a tackle, the Hurricanes halfback Cameron Roigard strolled through the defence for a third five-pointer.
The second half was similar to the first. Moana Pasifika had opportunities but couldn’t take them, while the Hurricanes were clinical when in the red zone.
Naholo scored for the Hurricanes in the 55th minute and two minutes later the other winger Salesi Rayasi went in as the scoreline started to blow out.
When Rayasi exploited some woeful defending for his second try in the 66th minute and Hurricanes captain Ardie Savea scored under the posts moments later, it was clear this game couldn’t end quick enough for Moana Pasifika fans.
Unfortunately for them, there were triers from Hame Faiva and Pate Lakai to come before they could head home.