Hurricanes make big Super Rugby statement
SUPER RUGBY SATURDAY WRAP: Moana Pasifika’s torrid start to this season’s Super Rugby Pacific goes on thanks to a 59-0 hammering by the title-chasing Hurricanes in Auckland.
Revenge was in the air for the Hurricanes, who this time last year lost to a golden-point try from Danny Toala as Moana Pasifika recorded their first-ever victory in the competition.
There never looked likely to be a repeat at Mount Smart Stadium on Saturday.
The win moved the Hurricanes – whose only defeat in five games this season has come at the hands of fellow New Zealanders the Blues – up to second in the ladder, four points behind the unbeaten Chiefs.
They also boast a league-leading points difference of plus-110.
Things are not looking so bright for Moana Pasifika, who suffered a fifth straight loss and have now conceded 121 points in their last two matches.
At least they got on the board in last weekend’s 62-36 defeat at the Brumbies. On Saturday they had no such luck, blowing what chances they did create.
Wing Tima Fainga’anuku went closest to scoring for the hosts, but a foot-in-touch ruled out his effort.
A game-ending first-minute injury to No.8 Lotu Inisi set the tone, and Moana Pasifika never recovered as Joshua Moorsby, Brett Cameron and Cam Roigard crossed to give the Hurricanes a 19-0 lead at halftime.
The second period continued in much the same vein, with Moana Pasifika unable to capitalise on opportunities, and the Hurricanes ruthless in their execution.
Winger Kini Naholo extended their lead after 55 minutes, before his counterpart on the other flank, Salesi Rayasi, scored the first of his second-half double 120 seconds later.
Rayasi grabbed his second of the game on 66 minutes, and moments later skipper Ardie Savea scored under the posts as the Hurricanes threatened to blow their opponents away.
Hame Faiva and Peter Lakai added further tries to complete the rout, with Moana Pasifika heading back to the drawing board before next Friday’s clash with the Highlanders.
The Hurricanes welcome the Western Force to Palmerston North next Sunday.
*The injury-hit Highlanders conceded the first try of the match, then scored five of their own in the first half on the way to a 57-24 win over the Fijian Drua in Super Rugby Pacific.
Brilliant scrumhalf Frank Lomani scored the opening try for the Drua after 14 minutes.
But the Highlanders responded with four tries in the space of 16 minutes through the middle of the first half, then added another just before the break to take a 33-12 lead to halftime.
All Blacks scrumhalf Aaron Smith scored a sixth try in the fourth minute of the second half to increase the lead to 38-12, then Jonah Lowe made it 45-12 with the seventh in the 53rd.
Lomani scored his second try and kicked a conversion of a try to Tevita Ikaniveri as the Drua stayed in the match but a second try to Argentina import Martin Bogado and another to Cameron Millar gave the Highlanders a welcome bonus point and an emphatic win.
*Melbourne have won a helter-skelter Super Rugby Pacific clash against Queensland with the lead changing hands six times.
The Rebels were in front when it counted, running in six tries to five to post a thrilling 40-34 victory in their Saturday night clash.
The Reds could feel robbed with the TMO Brett Cronan denying halfback Tate McDermott a try in 76th minute when he deemed that lock Ryan Smith had held back Rebel Josh Kemeny from chasing McDermott.
If James O’Connor was able to convert that try it would have put Queensland in the lead.
Melbourne lock Angelo Smith put his team ahead in the 67th minute and despite McDermott’s late dash they were able to hang on and celebrate their second win of the season.
Queensland got off to a flying start, leading 14-0 after 16 minutes through tries to centre Josh Flook and winger Jordan Petaia.
But the Rebels got on a rampage and smashed through the remainder of the first half, scoring four tries to lead 26-14 at the break with young playmaker Carter Gordon in the thick of the action.
With Reds coach Brad Thorn laying down the law about their poor discipline at halftime, it was the visitors’ turn to fire up.
They scored three tries within 13 minutes, with Flook’s second putting Queensland back in front 31-26.
But it wasn’t for long with Melbourne fullback Joe Pincus running onto a Monty Ioane pass to score.
An O’Connor penalty saw the Reds go up before Smith’s charge to the line.
Melbourne looked like they had scored twice in two minutes when reserve lock Daniel Maiava intercepted a pass with his first touch of the ball but the TMO denied the try for an earlier knock-on.
Both teams had chances in a frantic final few minutes but couldn’t find their way to the tryline.
The results and the scorers:
Highlanders 57-24 Fijian Drua
Tries: Ainsley, De Groot, Bogado 2, Gilbert, Hunt, Smith, Lowe, Millar
Cons: Gilbert 5, Millar
For Fijian Drua:
Tries: Lomani 2, Rakuro, Ikanivere
Cons: Valetini, Lomani
Highlanders: 15 Sam Gilbert, 14 Martin Bogado, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 11 Jonah Lowe, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Hugh Renton, 7 Billy Harmon (captain), 6 Sean Withy, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Leni Apisai, 1 Ethan de Groot
Replacements: 16 Jack Taylor, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Saula Ma’u, 19 Will Tucker, 20 James Lentjes, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Cam Millar, 23 Jake Te Hiwi
Fijian Drua: 15 Selestino Ravutaumada, 14 Iosefo Masi, 13 Apisalome Vota, 12 Kalaveti Ravouvou, 11 Taleni Rakuro, 10 Kemi Valetini, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Meli Derenalagi (captain), 7 Kitione Salawa, 6 Joseva Tamani, 5 Leone Rotuisolia, 4 Isoa Nasilasila, 3 Samuela Tawake, 2 Tevita Ikanivere, 1 Emosi Tuqiei
Replacements: 16 Zuriel Togiatama, 17 Meli Tuni, 18 Jone Koroiduadua, 19 Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, 20 Vilive Miramira, 21 Elia Canakaivata, 22 Peni Matawalu, 23 Teti Tela
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant Referees: Dan Waenga, Mike Winter
Moana Pasifika 0-59 Hurricanes
For Moana Pasifika: NONE
Tries: Moorby, Naholo, Rayasi 2, Cameron, Roigard, A.Savea, Lakai, Faiva
Cons: Cameron 7
Moana Pasifika: 15 William Havili, 14 Tima Fainaga’anuku, 13 Levi Aumua, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Anzelo Tuitavuki, 10 Christian Leali’ifano, 9 Ereatara Enari, 8 Lotu Inisi, 7 Alamanda Motuga, 6 Solomone Funaki, 5 Mike McKee, 4 Samuel Slade, 3 Suetena Asomua, 2 Samiuela Moli, 1 Abraham Pole
Replacements: 16 Ray Niula, 17 Ezekiel Lindnemuth, 18 Chris Apoua, 19 Potu Leavasa, 20 Miracle Faiilagi, 21 Manu Paea,22 D’Angeolo Leuila, 23 Fine Inisi
Hurricanes: 15 Josh Moorby, 14 Kini Naholo, 13 Bailyn Sullivan, 12 Billy Proctor, 11 Salesi Rayasi, 10 Brett Cameron, 9 Cameron Roigard, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Peter Lakai, 6 Devan Flanders, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Pasilio Tosi, 19 TK Howden, 20 Braydon Iose, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Riley Hohepa, 23 Julian Savea
Rebels 40-34 Reds
Tries: Smith, Pincus, Ekuasi, Gibbon, Kemeny, Louwrens,
Cons: Gordon 5
For Queensland Reds:
Tries: Flook, Smith, Petaia 2, Flook
Cons: O’Connor 3
Rebels: 15 Joe Pincus, 14 Lachie Anderson, 13 Stacey Ili, 12 David Feliuai, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Vaiolini Ekuasi, 7 Brad Wilkin (captain), 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Tuaina Taii Tualima, 4 Trevor Hosea, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 Matt Gibbon
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Cabous Eloff, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Angelo Smith, 20 Daniel Maiava, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Glen Vaihu, 23 Nick Jooste
Reds: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Josh Flook, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Kalani Thomas, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Liam Wright, 5 Seru Uru, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Zane Nonggorr, 2 Matt Faessler, 1 Dane Zander
Replacements: 16 Richie Asiata, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Phransis Sula-Siaosi, 19 Jake Upfield, 20 Connor Vest, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Isaac Henry, 23 Taj Annan
Referee: Graham Cooper
Assistant Referees: Damon Murphy, Jordan Kaminski