Moana Pasifika clinch historic win in Perth

Winger Kyren Taumoefolau was a standout for Moana Pasifika as they defeated the Force.

Moana Pasifika marked Fa’alogo Tana Umaga’s 50th match at the helm in Super Rugby, with an impressive 22-14 win over the Western Force at HBF Park in Perth. 

The historic victory was their first over the Force and their second of the season so far. It’s also the most they’ve ever won before.

Christian Lealiifano’s influence on the backline was instrumental. A true leader and playmaker who gave the team confidence and helped them keep their cool as the hosts didn’t let up. 

With 173 Super Rugby caps, Lealiifano is now the 3rd most capped back in Super Rugby history. 

Captain Sione Havili Talitui echoed the praise of the veteran. “Not many people can do it. He’s been awesome for us, helping our young boys with his knowledge and experience,” Havili Talitui said. 

Umaga added: “Christian’s a calming influence to our group. We’ve got a lot of young guys new to professional rugby and new to this level. He gives confidence and he gives reassurance that everything will be alright. We trust him to execute our game plan.”

Moana Pasifika came out with urgency, swift on attack and aggressive on the move. Their line speed also made a huge difference. 

Hooker and former Western Force Academy player Sama Malolo shined in his return to Perth.

After some hard work trying to maintain possession, their persistence was rewarded when hooker Malolo crossed the line for a try, off the back of a powerful maul in the 16th minute. 

Wallabies legend Sekope Kepu also charged across the line for his own try following a tap and go from Malolo and quick offload from Lotu Inisi.

It was Kepu’s first try since round 18 of 2018 when he was playing for the Waratahs. By halftime Moana led 12-7.

Meanwhile in his debut start, Kyren Taumoefolau displayed tremendous athleticism with confidence every time he had the ball. He backed his decisions and played what was in front of him, an impressive quality for a young player. 

Taumoefolau turned on the jets and crossed the line for his first try in Super Rugby Pacific to open the second half.

The Force didn’t give up, coming into the second half on a mission. They scored a try from a well executed maul and were relentless in the set piece.

A long penalty kick from William Havili with 8 minutes to go sealed it for Moana Pasifika.

They now return home to Auckland and prepare to play the ACT Brumbies next Friday.


See all news