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Moana Pasifika aiming for a complete performance in Melbourne

Moana Pasifika aiming for a complete performance in Melbourne

All BlacksMarch 3, 2023

After going down to Fijian Drua in dramatic fashion in round one, Moana Pasifika are looking to bounce back against the Chiefs in Melbourne on Saturday.

Moana Pasifika captain Christian Leali’ifano said there were plenty of learnings to take from the heart-breaking loss to the Fijian Drua at Mount Smart Stadium.

After controlling most of the match and leading 26-19 at halftime, Moana Pasifika were undone by a stunning long-range try from the Fijian Drua on the stroke of fulltime.  

Leali’ifano said moments like that offer a chance for learning and will be something the side looks to address in the Melbourne Super Round clash against the Chiefs.

“It’s important for us to learn from that. When you feel like you have a team under control, if you switch off for a second they can punish you. That’s great learnings for our young group and we will get better for game two,” Leali’ifano said.

The new law variations were also appreciated by Leali’ifano. With 11 tries scored in the match, the ball was in play for longer and produced a highly exciting game.

“It made the game really quick. It creates a nice tempo and allows the backs to find some space,” Leali’ifano said.

Another impressive area for Moana Pasifika against the Fijian Drua was at lineout time. They won all 15 of their line outs in round one – the only team in the competition to do so. Lineouts will be a crucial battleground for possesion in Melbourne with All Blacks locks Brodie Retallick and Tupou Vaa’i in the Chiefs ranks.

Moana Pasifika v Chiefs at a glance:

WHEN:  Saturday 4 March, 7.05pm NZT
WHERE: AAMI Park Melbourne (Melbourne Super Round)
STATCHAT: This will be just the third ever meeting Moana Pasifika and the Chiefs in Super Rugby; the Chiefs have won both of their previous meetings by an average margin of 40 points

🤩 So good to see our Super Fans turn out in round one. See you in Melbourne this weekend for the #SuperRound! pic.twitter.com/sWJIp6VXj0

— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) February 28, 2023

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