Moana Pasifika Mid-Season Review

It’s bye week for Moana Pasifika which means we’ve made it halfway through the 2024 season. Players and coaches have time to fill their cup, spend time with loved ones, rest and reset after a huge eight weeks of rugby.


The first half of the season was eventful. There were 11 DHL Super Rugby Pacific debuts, racking up the air and road miles, many plane trips and new stadiums. 

There were injuries, big losses and learnings, but also a dramatic game-winning try and some satisfying wins. That included three victories which is the most the club has won in a single season. In total the team played eight games at seven different venues across seven cities and two countries. 

A few weeks ago in the lead up to our match against the Blues at Eden Park, Head Coach Fa’alogo Tana Umaga was asked about the team playing home games at different venues. Umaga expressed that it’s something the team embraces. 

“We’ve just got to make do with what we’ve got. We’ve just got to keep working and we’re used to it. This is who we are, we’re voyagers and we’re travellers. Our ancestors lived on the sea so we’re adaptable.”

You start to feel that the tide is turning and though we’re proud of the improvement made, we also know that the focus is on getting better every week. Never too high but also never too low. 

With players who have a chip on their shoulder, a dream and a relentless desire to keep fighting and to keep turning up no matter the result. 


Our game against the Fijian Drua on March 2nd – the battle of the Pacific, gave what it needed to give. It was a 10-try spectacle with both the Drua and Moana Pasifika crossing the line five times. A display of Pasifika finesse and physicality at its finest. 

With 13 men on the field for the majority of the final 15 minutes, Moana Pasifika rallied and held on for a 39-36 point win. 

As expected the Drua, a side Moana has huge respect for, didn’t make it easy, forging a near comeback win from 24 points down. At times they caught Moana off guard with their electrifying and powerful play. The much anticipated rematch is next week in Lautoka. 

Our Round 8 match against the Reds also delivered the theatrics you love in sport. It’s one of those moments that you remember vividly. With ice in his veins, the game hanging in the balance, William Havili busted through tackles and reached out with one arm to score the winning try, following it up with a successful conversion kick. 

An improved defensive performance contributed to the result as the saying goes ‘defence wins games.’ As always there are still things to work on but it was a promising sign of what’s to come. 


Our people – they’re all over the Pacific and they’ve stuck by us. Even through a tough three-week stretch going down to fierce competition. It’s the reason why we’re still able to do what we do. 

Whether it’s up North, in Tāmaki Makaurau or across the Pacific Islands the support has been unreal. Not just at our games but also at our community events. Such as our touch tournament and the Oceania U20s Challenge where we’ve seen what impact rugby can have. We’ve seen the future talent coming through the ranks and it’s exciting to know the game is in good hands. 


Here’s how our guys match up against the rest of the competition:

  • Julian Savea is 2nd in the competition for contact metres (116)
  • William Havili is 9th for points recorded (52)
  • Ereatara Enari is 5th for passes made (371). He’s also 8th for try assists (5)
  • Lotu Inisi is 7th in defenders beaten (25) and 19th in contact metres (81)
  • Jacob Norris is 7th in lineouts won on own throw (27)
  • Sione Havili Talitui is 11th in turnovers won (7)
  • Danny Toala is 14th for try assists (3), 14th in metres made (434) and 16th for carries (70)
  • Allan Craig is 17th for tackle percentage at 95% making 71 from 75 tackles


From Kyren Taumoefolau, Allan Craig to Irie Papuni and Tomasi Maka – the first eight weeks have seen many of Moana Pasifika’s young talent get their chance on the big stage. And they’ve maximised their opportunities. Joining a new environment as some of the youngest players on the team isn’t easy. But they’ve been willing to learn, putting in the work and giving it their all out on the field.


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