Leali’ifano to Captain Moana Pasifika against Hurricanes

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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.

Moana Pasifika team to play Hurricanes at Sky Stadium on Tuesday 12 April at 7.05pm NZT. Get your tickets HERE. 

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

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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