Super Rugby

Hurricanes blow away meek Moana Pasifika




The Hurricanes blew away Moana Pasifika 53-12 in rescheduled Super Rugby Pacific match at Sky Stadium, Wellington.

Blake Gibson bagged a brace as the Hurricanes notched a half-century against a meek Moana Pasifika at the Cake Tin.

The Hurricanes ran in eight tries in the Super Rugby Pacific Round Four clash to go seventh on the log.

Jason Holland’s side gained sweet revenge on Aaron Mauger’s men in New Zealand’s capital after their shock 24-19 defeat at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland.

Moana edged the Canes, last month, after a stunning Golden Point victory in the City of Sails.

Alex Fidow, Wes Goosen – who was fantastic – Kianu Kereru-Symes, TJ Perenara, Pasilio Tosi, and Reed Prinsep all scored for the home team.

Ruben Love kicked a penalty and four conversions for 11 points.

Aiden Morgan managed only one conversion from his three attempts when Love left the field.

Love was instrumental at first receiver, his standout play coming in the second half to set up Perenara’s 58th Super Rugby try.

Perenara was at his best, another Jack Russell display at halfback.

He equalled Caleb Ralph (3rd) on the all-time Super Rugby try-scoring list.

The 30-year-old veteran scrumhalf, who also set up Tosi’s try, is now just one behind Doug Howlett (59) and two behind Israel Folau (60).

Perenara’s try also brought up 10,000th Super Rugby points for the Wellington franchise; they are only the second team to do so after the Crusaders.

Moana Pasifika scored a try in each half but was, ultimately, outclassed by their more experienced and illustrious opponents.

Mike Curry and Alex McRobbie dotted down for the beleaguered Pacific Islanders.

Captain Christian Leali’ifano added one second-half conversion as the islanders faded.

The much-changed Hurricanes took a comfortable three-tries-to-one 22-5 halftime against Moana Pasifika

There were plenty of changes for Holland’s side from last week’s 21-24 defeat to the Crusaders.

Only Goosen, switching from left to right-wing, kept his place in the run-on XV. Mauger also rung the changes.

Only Leali’ifano, Samual Slade, Alamanda Motuga, and Tima Fainga’anuku kept their places for this short turnaround.

The Hurricanes started with a bang when Fidow crashed over two minutes after kick-off.

Love missed the wide conversion but landed a 17th-minute penalty to put his side up by eight in the first quarter.

The visitors, however, hit back soon afterwards through Curry, who crashed through Fidow and Tevita Mafileo from close-range.

Moana’s joy was short-lived, though, as the hosts increased the pressure.

Fidow knocked on with the line at his mercy before a double movement by Gibson saw the TMO chalk off a score.

Four converted Canes’ tries (two apiece, either side of halftime) broke Moana Pasifika’s already fading spirit

Gibson and Goosen scored twice in six minutes before the interval.

Kereru-Symes and Perenara added two in eight minutes after the restart.

Gibson claimed his first try from a driving maul after a previous penalty advantage.

Goosen, who had been tearing the opposition apart, finished off a sweeping attack that started with a scrum outside his own 22.

Perenara broke blind and played Goosen, who raced into the opposition’s 22.

The ball was recycled quickly, sent through the hands, and seven phases later, the 26-year-old winger waltzed over untouched.

Love converted both to open up a comfortable 17-point lead at the break.

Holland’s men turned the intensity up to 11 as they stretched the opposition’s porous defence, and mauled their forwards.

Kereru-Symes barged over from a ruck, and Perenara followed suit to equal Ralph.

Morgan’s scything linebreak in midfield led to Bailyn Sullivan’s break and offload to the scrumhalf to score under the poles.

Love slotted both conversions to effectively end the game as a contest at 36-5.

Moana Pasifika pull a try back, but it is all for nothing as Hurricanes blow the tourist away

Mauger’s men did, however, cross again when McRobbie’s blindside break from the back of a ruck, doubled his team’s tally.

Leali’ifano’s conversion mattered not as the Hurricanes continued to torment Maona.

A previous quick-tap penalty stopped another Perenara try, but not Tosi’s score, as the hosts brought up the forty-burger.

The burly prop found space to run free under the posts after his halfback’s quick thinking caught the opposition off guard.

Morgan, taking over from Love, added the extras for 43-12 on the hour mark.

Prinsep, skippering in the absence of Ardie Savea, fell on a loose ball after a destructive Hurricanes’ scrum dismantled Moana’s pack.

The game began to fizzle out when both coaches made changes.

Gibson had his second off the back of another powerful driving maul to cap off an impressive performance.

The bonus-point victory moves the Canes up the table, while another heavy defeat sees the Pacific outfit stay bottom.

Final Score: Hurricanes 53 (22) Moana Pasifika 12 (5)


Tries – Fidow, Gibson (2), Goosen, Kereru-Symes, Perenara, Tosi, Prinsep
Pen – Love
Con – Love (4), Morgan
Drop –
Cards –

Moana Pasifika
Tries – Curry, McRobbie
Pen –
Con – Leali’ifano
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: Dan Waenga
TMO: Chris Hart


Hurricanes: 15 Ruben Love, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Bailyn Sullivan, 12 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Aidan Morgan, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Devan Flanders, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Reed Prinsep (captain), 5 Tom Parsons, 4 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 3 Tevita Mafileo, 2 Kianu Kereru-Symes, 1 Alex Fidow.

Replacements: 16 Bruce Kauika-Peterson, 17 Jared Proffit, 18 Pasilio Tosi, 19 Justin Sangster, 20 Te Kamaka Howden, 21 Cam Roigard, 22 Teihorangi Walden, 23 Josh Moorby.

Moana Pasifika: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Tima Fainga’anuku, 13 Levi Aumua, 12 Danny Toala, 11 Neria Foma’i, 10 Christian Leali’ifano (captain), 9 Jonathan Taumateine, 8 Henry Time-Stowers, 7 Alamanda Motuga, 6 Alex McRobbie, 5 Samuel Slade, 4 Mahonri Ngakuru, 3 Joe ‘Apikotoa, 2 Samiuela Moli, 1 Abraham Pole.

Replacements: 16 Ray Niuia, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Taukiha’amea Koloamatangi, 19 Michael Curry, 20 Penitoa Finau, 21 Manu Paea, 22 Lincoln McClutchie, 23 Henry Taefu.

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