Hurricanes thump Moana Pasifika in 'grudge match'
MATCH REPORT: The Hurricanes have avenged their shock loss to Moana Pasifika two-and-a-half weeks ago by thumping them 53-12 in Wellington on Tuesday.
The 41-point drubbing snaps a three-match losing streak and amends the surprise golden point extra-time defeat the Hurricanes suffered against the new expansion franchise in Auckland last month.
Running in seven tries to two, the hosts dominated from the outset at Sky Stadium in a match that was rescheduled as a result of Covid disruption earlier in the season.
A searing break by wing Wes Goosen through the heart of the Moana Pasifika defence in the opening passage of play from the kick-off was indicative of what was to come throughout the match, with the Hurricanes scoring just minutes later via Alex Fidow.
Further first-half tries to Goosen and Blake Gibson, as well as seven points from the boot of prodigious fullback Ruben Love, were enough to outscore the solitary try scored by Moana Pasifika lock Michael Curry in the opening stanza.
Ahead 22-5 at half-time, the Hurricanes ramped things up in the second half, with hooker Kianu Kereru-Symes, halfback TJ Perenara, prop Pasilio Tosi, captain Reed Prinsep and Gibson all dotting down to crack the half-century for the home side.
The try was a special one for Kereru-Symes, who marked his debut with a try after being promoted into the starting lineup shortly before kick-off following the late withdrawal of James O’Reilly.
Perenara, meanwhile, continued to close in on Israel Folau’s record for most tries in Super Rugby history, scoring his 58th try to leave him two tries shy of the former Wallabies star’s milestone.
Moana Pasifika managed one other try to flanker Alex McRobbie, but that proved to be merely be consolation as ill-discipline continued to plague Aaron Mauger’s side, who conceded 10 penalties to the Hurricanes’ six and had minimal possession and territory.
The result leaves Moana Pasifika rooted to the bottom of the Super Rugby Pacific table, nine points astray from a play-offs spot, while the Hurricanes leapfrog the Western Force into seventh place.
Both teams have a four-day turnaround, with Moana Pasifika travelling to Hamilton to face the Chiefs on Saturday just hours before the Hurricanes take on the Highlanders in Dunedin.
Tries: Fidow, Gibson 2, Goosen, Kereru-Symes, Perenara, Tosi, Prinsep.
Cons: Love 4, Morgan
For Moana Pasifika:
Tries: Currie, McRobbie
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 James O’Reilly, 1 Alex Fidow
Replacements: 16 Kianu Kereru-Symes, 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
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Referees: James Doleman & Jono Bredin
TMO: Aaron Paterson