This will be the first-ever Super Rugby meeting between Moana Pasifika and the Brumbies.
The Brumbies have lost only one of their last nine matches in the competition when facing opposition for the first time (W7, D1), a 25-24 defeat to the Melbourne Rebels in February 2011.
Moana Pasifika has lost their last 10 Super Rugby matches in succession, conceding 38 points per game in that span; their last win in the competition was a 24-19 victory against the Hurricanes (25 March 2022).
- The Brumbies have lost each of their last two Super Rugby matches after losing only one of their 11 games prior (W10); the last time they went on a longer losing run in the competition was a four-match span in May 2021
- Moana Pasifika has scored 20+ points in four of their last five Super Rugby matches, after doing so only once in all their eight games prior in the competition.
- The Brumbies won their most recent Super Rugby match in New Zealand (38-28 v Chiefs – 7 May 2022); they will be aiming for back-to-back wins in the country for the first time since May 2013.
- Moana has made 24 tackle breaks per game, the joint-second most by any team (also Chiefs – 24) and seven per game more than the Brumbies (17).
- The Brumbies have made 141 tackles per game, the joint-most by any team in the campaign (also Crusaders – 141) and 24 per game more than Moana Pasifika (117)
- Moana Pasifika has made 337 post-contact metres per game, the second-most by any team (Hurricanes – 367); only the Melbourne Rebels (224) have made fewer per game than the Brumbies (230) in this category.
Players to watch
- Timoci Tavatavanawai has made 66 tackle breaks, 19 more than any other player in the competition and 40 more than the Brumbies’ best Andy Muirhead (26).
- Rob Valetini has made eight dominant tackles, the joint-most by any player in the competition (also Ethan Blackadder – 8 for Crusaders) and three more than Moana Pasifika’s best in this category (Ezekiel Lindenmuth – 5).
- Sekope Kepu plays his 150th Super Rugby match at age 36. Kepu made his debut in 2008.
- Darcy Swain and Tom Wright both reach 50 caps in Super Rugby.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: PEEEP! We are underway at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland.
2.00: Moana Pasifika held up from the restart for a Brumbies’ attacking scrum outside the 22.
4.00: Moana wins a relieving penalty at the ruck, but the Brumbies win the first scrum penalty of the game. Tom Banks, like last week, misses touch from a penalty kick.
6.00: Brumbies kick out on the full.
7.00: A lot of mistakes in the early stages by both teams, Moana however, has conceded three turnovers to go with two scrum penalties.
8.00: Scott Sio gets one back on Sekope Kepu; it’s 2-1 to Sio.
11.00: RED CARD! Kepu tackled Andy Muirhead around the neck, it is dangerous with no mitigating factors. A horrible way to end your 150th Super Rugby match. The skipper’s season is over. What a shame. 0-0
12.00: Moana concedes their fifth penalty in 12 minutes.
13.00: TRY! Connal McInerney flops over the line for his 9th Super Rugby five-pointer. Easy as you like by the best maul in the competition. The Brumbies have scored 36 tries from lineouts out of their 55 this season. 0-5
15.00: CONVERSION! Lolesio’s kick is good. 0-7
17.00: The islanders botch a tap-and-go penalty by knocking on near the try line.
19.00: MASSIVE SCRUM! Joe ‘Apiokotoa comes on for Kepu and wins a scrum penalty: that’s 2-2 now.
20.00: Another penalty gives Moana a good chance at points.
21.00: TRY! Willy Havili slides over the whitewash after another tap-and-go penalty catches the Brumbies off guard. Jonathan Taumateine spotted the fullback open with acres of space after the Aussies got sucked in near the poles. 5-7
22.00: MISS! Havili cannot convert his score. 5-7
25.00: The Australians are reeling despite having the extra man. They have conceded seven penalties now, while the islanders have had 71% possession in the last 10 minutes.
27.00: TRY! A superb driving maul ends with Joe ‘Apiokotoa crashing over for his second Super Rugby try. 10-7
28.00: CONVERSION! Christian Leali’ifano adds the extras. 12-7
30.00: Superb work by Henry Time-Stowers, who knocks the ball in play before it goes out, and begins a counter-attack from inside his team’s half. Moana goes through nine phases before the Brumbies give away another penalty.
31.00: MISS! Leali’ifano pulls his kick wide; he would have passed Richie Mo’unga for all-time SR points. 12-7
33.00: The hosts are back to a full quota. The last 15 minutes have seen Moana have 96% possession, the Brumbies have had to make 53 tackles to none in that time. Ouch!
35.00: Banks finds touch on the home team’s 22. The visitors go through the phases as they search for points. Two offsides give the Brumbies a chance for an attacking scrum under the sticks.
37.00: Lolesio drops the ball as he looked up and Moana counter-attacked into the Brumbies’ half. Nothing comes from the attack, but the hosts have a lineout.
39.00: YELLOW CARD! Dan McKellar’s side is under the pump at the end of the half, they are making too many mistakes and giving away too many penalties in the red zone. McInerney is off after infringing. 12-7
41.00: PENALTY TRY! Jahrome Brown brings down the maul illegally, he can have no complaints. 19-7
41.00: YELLOW CARD! Jahrome Brown is off for 10. 19-7
The halftime score was Moana Pasifika 19 Brumbies 7
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway in New Zealand.
43.00: Moana has started the second half well, they need to get points while the Brumbies have 13 men.
46.00: The Brumbies are slowing the game down expertly as they run the clock down by kicking deep.
47.00: DROP GOAL! Lolesio slots an important drop-kick after Moana lost their lineout inside their own 22. 19-10
51.00: Moana wins a kickable penalty, and they call for a shot at goal.
52.00: PENALTY! Leali’ifano extends the lead back to 12. 22-10
55.00: Samu drops the ball trying to score, but the visitors have the penalty advanatge.
57.00: TRY! Lachlan Lonergan scores from a powerful driving maul – the Brumbies forwards are back! 22-15
59.00: CONVERSION! Lolesio adds the conversion. 22-17
63.00: PENALTY! Leali’ifano makes it a two-score game for the third time. 25-17
66.00: The visitors threatened with another sustained attack in the red zone, but the hosts survive when the Aussies drop the ball.
69.00: Ryan Lonergan takes a quick-tap penalty, but the halfback drops the ball just as Solomone Kata did earlier.
71.00: It’s all hands to the pump for Moana, who are defending their lives.
72.00: A nine-phase attack ends with another penalty. Banks kicks to the corner – here we go!
73.00: 50/22! The hosts win a turnover inside their 22, and Leali’ifano kicks a 50/22 from inside his own 22. Unbelievable!
74.00: Good defending by the Aussies, who hold up the maul; that would have been the game. Time is running out for the three-time champions.
76.00: TRY! A massive scrum saw the Brumbies carry the ball over their goal-line to give the hosts an attacking platform. From the set-piece, the home team went blind and scored through Lotu Inisi, who picked up a loose ball before diving over for his maiden SR score. 30-17
78.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 32-17
80.00: Aumua makes another huge hit, but the Brumbies had a penalty advantage. Lineout time.
82.00: TRY! Samu barges his way through three defenders to claim a 23rd SR try. 32-22
84.00: MISS! The kick is no good. 32-22
The final score is Moana 32 (19) Brumbies 22 (7)
Tries – Havili, ‘Apiokotoa, Penalty try, Inisi
Pen – Leali’ifano (2)
Con – Leali’ifano (2)
Cards – Kepu (Red, 11′)
Tries – McInerney, L. Lonergan, Samu
Con – Lolesio (2)
Drop – Lolesio
Cards – McInerney (Yellow, 39′), Brown (Yellow, 41′)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 1: James Doleman
Assistant Ref 2: Jono Bredin
TMO: Aaron Paterson
Moana Pasifika: 15 William Havili, 14 Solomone Kata, 13 Levi Aumua, 12 Danny Toala, 11 Timoci Tavatavanawai, 10 Christian Leali’ifano, 9 Jonathan Taumateine, 8 Henry Time-Stowers, 7 Alamanda Motuga, 6 Solomone Funaki, 5 Sam Slade, 4 Michael Curry, 3 Sekope Kepu (captain), 2 Ray Niula, 1 Abraham Pole.
Replacements: 16 Samiuela Moli, 17 Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 18 Joe ‘Apiokotoa, 19 Sione Tuipolotu, 20 Lotu Inisi, 21 Manu Paea, 22 Fine Inisi, 23 Anzelo Tuitavuki.
Brumbies: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White, 8 Pete Samu, 7 Jahrome Brown, 6 Ed Kennedy, 5 Nick Frost, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Connal McInerney, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Lachlan Lonergan, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sefo Kautai, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Rory Scott, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Rod Iona, 23 Hudson Creighton.