Moana Pasifika will face off against the Blues in an epic battle for the hearts and minds of Auckland’s rugby and wider community when they play the opening match of the revised Super Rugby Pacific competition on Friday 18 February.
The revised Super Rugby Pacific draw can be viewed here.
With travel restrictions forcing a rethink of the draw, Moana Pasifika will now face their fellow Auckland-based competition in a highly anticipated local derby match which is sure to light up the competition and showcase everything that is exciting about Pasifika and Blues rugby.
The first round of play also sees the Fijian Drua playing away against the Waratahs in Australia.
Moana Pasifika’s rugby director Kevin Senio welcomed the new draw as a dream way to kick off the club’s first season.
“We are thrilled that we are still hosting the opening round, and we couldn’t have asked for a more fitting way to kick off our debut season,” he said.
“I know that a lot of our fans will be torn between their loyalties. But I also know that we are able to attract a lot of new fans to the game because of their pride in our heritage.”
Head Coach Aaron Mauger said regardless of the opposition, the opportunity to play the opening round at home, was a significant milestone that would not be lost on the team.
“It doesn’t really matter how you carve up the draw, every game is as hard as the next. But it is pretty special to be able to play at our home ground three times in the first six rounds, but to play in New Zealand for all of the first seven rounds is something I think will be a huge advantage to us.
“We’re under no illusions that we are up against arguably the five strongest teams in the competition for eight games straight but our primary focus will be on ourselves and the things that we can do to compete with and challenge the New Zealand teams consistently during that period. It’s a challenge we look forward to.” he said.
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