Super Rugby

Blues beat Moana Pasifika: Eklund claims historic hat-trick




Blues beat Moana Pasifika 41-16 after another dominant Super Rugby Pacific display at Eden Park, Auckland.

Kurt Eklund scored a historic hat-trick as the Blues claimed a comfortable Super Rugby victory – and double – over Moana Pasifika in the City of Sails.

The Blues romped to a seven-try to one bonus-point win against a spirited but outmatched Moana Pasifika, who they beat 32-19 four days ago.

Born and bred in Auckland, Eklund became the first hooker in Blues Super Rugby franchise history to score three tries in a match.

The 30-year-old front-rower, on the field for longer than usual, scored all three tries from mauls.

The third score came on 66 minutes, and he was swiftly substituted after the score, his 12th Super Rugby five-pointer.

Eklund also becomes the first Blues’ forward to collect a treble in 24 years when Mark Carter scored a hat-trick against the Stormers in 1998.

Corey Evans, Caleb Clarke, Bryce Heem, and AJ Lam also scored for the in-form Blues. Stephen Perofeta kicked a penalty and four conversions (11 pts) to go with an assist for Clarke’s try.

Clarke, however, was sent off in the second-half for dangerous play.

Tomasi Alosio scored Moana’s only try in the first-half. Christian Leali’ifano also added 11 points from the tee, all coming in the first stanza as the Blues shutout the tourists.

Leon MacDonald’s side faced a big challenge, playing three matches in eight days.

They did, however, come through unscathed, beating the Highlanders in Dunedin and Moana Pasifika on Tuesday evening to make it five wins in a row.

This win is also the Blues’ 12th win in 13 SR matches, as well as their 10th on the trot versus teams from outside New Zealand.

The Blues led Moana Pasifika 29-16 at the interval after scoring four tries to one in an entertaining first-half

Evans, Clarke, Eklund, and Heem dotted down in the first stanza as the hosts took control of the game.

Perofeta added a penalty and three conversions and also set up Clarke’s 21st-minute try. Finlay Christie also had a game, setting up both Evans and Heem’s tries.

Alosio scored on the half-hour, while Leali’ifano added three goals and conversion to keep the islanders in the contest.

But as good teams always do, the Blues scored either side of halftime to kill the game as a contest.

The home team crossed three more times with two from Eklund and Lam before the final hooter, scoring 12 unanswered points

Moreover, the Aucklanders kept their listless guests scoreless after the break despite playing 20 minutes with 14 men.

Try scoring machine Eklund secured his second double of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific campaign when he peeled off another driving maul.

The hooker also dotted down twice against the Hurricanes in the Blues’ 32-33 round two home defeat to the Wellington side.

The home team lost momentum when Clarke received a 52nd-minute red card after taking out Alosio with a reckless and dangerous hit in the air.

Moana, however, could not make their numeric advantage count as they squandered several scoring opportuinites.

Mauger’s men botched attacking lineouts and driving mauls as they searched for points.

Ezekiel Lindenmuth crashed over, but his try was chalked off for player obstruction in the maul.

Eklund claimed his third after another rumbling maul to bring up the forty-burger. The islanders, however, kept coming, but kept coughing up opportunities.

On 71 minutes, Timoci Tavatavanawai dropped the ball in contact near the line by prop Karl Tu’inukuafe, who knocked the ball out of the winger’s hands.

With time running out, and the Pacific islanders out of ideas, the Kiwis struck through Lam at the death.

Final Score: Blues 46 (29) Moana Pasifika 16 (16)


Tries – Evans, Clarke, Eklund (3), Heem, Lam
Pen – Perofeta
Con – Perofeta (4)
Drop –
Cards – Clarke (Red, 52′)

Moana Pasifika
Tries – Alosio
Pen – Leali’ifano (3)
Con – Leali’ifano
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant Ref 1: Jono Bredin
Assistant Ref 2: Angus Mabey
TMO: Chris Hart


Blues: 15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 AJ Lam, 13 Bryce Heem, 12 Corey Evans, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Anton Segner, 7 Dalton Papalii (captain), 6 Cameron Suafoa, 5 Sam Darry, 4 Christian Leali’ifano, 3 Marcel Renata, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Alex Hodgman.

Replacements: 16 Soane Vikena, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Adrian Choat, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Tanielu Tele’a, 23 Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens.

Moana Pasifika: 15 William Havili, 14 Tomasi Alosio, 13 Nigel Ah Wong, 24 Solomone Kata, 11 Timoci Tavatavanawai, 10 Christian Leali’ifano, 9 Ereatara Enari, 8 Henry Time-Stowers, 7 Solomone Funaki, 6 Sione Tuipulotu, 5 Alex McRobbie, 4 Veikoso Poloniati, 3 Sekope Kepu (captain), 2 Samiuela Moli, 1 Ezekiel Lindenmuth.

 16 Luteru Tolai, 17 Abraham Pole, 18 Chris Apoua, 19 Mahonri Ngakuru, 20 Alamanda Motuga, 21 Dwayne Polataivao, 22 Lincoln McClutchie, 23 Fine Inisi

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  1. Pingback: Blues beat Moana Pasifika: Eklund claims historic hat-trick - Super Rugby Pacific - Daily Post Central

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