Christian Leali’ifano to Captain Moana Pasifika
Moana Pasifika has named their team to play the Hurricanes this Tuesday night in what will be their second game in four days. After suffering a 37-17 loss at the hands of the Highlanders on Friday, Moana Pasifika are hoping to bounce back and claim their second win of the season. In their last meeting, Moana Pasifika defeated the Hurricanes 24-19 in golden point extra time.
DHL Super Rugby Pacific stalwart Christian Leali’ifano will Captain Moana Pasifika in the absence of injured Sekope Kepu. Manu Samoa internationals Alamanda Motuga and Jonathan Taumateine will assist Leali’ifano as Vice-Captains.
A new front row consisting of Abraham Pole, Samiuela Moli and Joe ‘Apikotoa will take the field on Tuesday night after Luteru Tolai and Sekope Kepu were ruled out with injuries.
Mahonri Ngakuru is elevated to the starting team and is joined by Samuel Slade in the locking position. Hard-working loose forwards Alex McRobbie and Henry Time-Stowers return to the match day squad and are joined by Alamanda Motuga, who starts his second consecutive game.
The same halves combination that defeated the Hurricanes in round 6, Jonathan Taumateine and Christian Leali’ifano, will look to emulate that performance. Leali’ifano is only 18 points away from reaching a milestone of 1,000 Super Rugby points.
After coming together for their opening try against the Highlanders, Danny Toala and Levi Aumua will combine in the midfield. Toala famously scored the try in golden point extra time which secured an historic win for Moana Pasifika.
Neria Foma’i returns to the left wing in place of Timoci Tavatavanawai while Tima Fainga’anuku retains his starting position on the right wing. Lolagi Visinia gets his first start in the Moana Pasifika jersey against his former team.
Head Coach Aaron Mauger has named a strong bench with Ray Niuia, Ezekiel Lindenmuth and Taukiha’amea Koloamatangi providing ample cover in the front row. Michael Curry and Penitoa Finau provide forward cover with Manu Paea, Lincoln McClutchie and Henry Taefu looking to make an impact to the backline from the bench.
Team to play Hurricanes
Tuesday 12 April
Kick off 7.05pm
Unavailable due to injury: Isi Tu’ungafasi, Lotu Inisi, Jack Lam, Sekope Kepu, Luteru Tolai, Mike McKee & Don LoloSee all news