Moana Pasifika’s struggles continue with 26-22 defeat to Rebels in Melbourne

Lincoln McClutchie drops the ball over the tryline in Moana Pasifika’s loss to the Rebels in Melbourne.

Scott Barbour/Photosport

Lincoln McClutchie drops the ball over the tryline in Moana Pasifika’s loss to the Rebels in Melbourne.

At AAMI Park, Melbourne: Rebels 26 (James Hanson tries 17min, 27min, Reece Hodge attempt 53min, Andrew Kellaway attempt 62min; Reece Hodge 3 con) Moana Pasifika 22 (Alamanda Motuga attempt 10min, Abraham Pole attempt 49min, Timoci Tavatavanawai attempt 77min; Christian Leali’ifano 2 con, pen). HT: 14-10.

Purple card: Ray Nu’u (Rebels) 80+1min

New opposition, standard points for Moana Pasifika.

The brand new Auckland-based franchise stay rooted to the underside of the Tremendous Rugby Pacific desk after a 26-22 loss to the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday evening.

In what was their first crack at Australian opposition, having had final weekend’s conflict in opposition to the Drive postponed due to Covid-19 instances amongst the Western Australian aspect, Moana have been let down as soon as once more by their fundamentals in one other irritating outing for coach Aaron Mauger.

Timoci Tavatavanawai was sensational for Moana Pasifika in a losing effort.

Graham Denholm/Getty Pictures

Timoci Tavatavanawai was sensational for Moana Pasifika in a shedding effort.

Having fun with nearly all of possession and simply bettering the hosts in most of the stats traces, Moana have been made to rue wobbly set items, some sloppy self-discipline and a few fundamental dealing with errors which by no means allowed them to get a roll on at AAMI Park.

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A attempt to sensational winger Timoci Tavatavanawai (recording recreation excessive numbers for metres [109], carries [14], defenders overwhelmed [12] and offloads [three]) within the 77th minute proved too little too late, as Moana botched a golden likelihood to steal it late.

Rebels second-five Ray Nu’u, who was simply getting back from suspension for a excessive deal with, was proven one other purple card, for his 81st minute shoulder to the top of Christian Leali’ifano, however Lincoln McClutchie inexplicably then couldn’t discover the touchline from the penalty.

Not lengthy earlier, the Hawke’s Bay playmaker had additionally butchered a attempt within the nook when Rebels No 10 Carter Gordon’s protecting deal with ensured he dropped the ball on the line.

Though they’d proven first rate enchancment in defending the rolling maul of their final outing in opposition to the Chiefs a fortnight in the past, it had been no secret that was Moana’s large wrestle, and positive sufficient Rebels hooker James Hanson bagged a double in that division within the house of 10 minutes within the first half.

The Rebels’ halftime benefit regarded like it could bloat to 11 when, off a scrum, Reece Hodge put in a sensible kick to the nook and Michael Wells went shut, just for the TMO to rule Leali’ifano had introduced him down centimetres from the road. And Moana once more breathed a sigh of aid on the siren when Mike Curry received over the ball to win a relieving penalty, and at 14-10 they have been nonetheless proper in it.

Rebels second-five Ray Nu'u was red-carded late in the match for his hit on Christian Leali’ifano.

Graham Denholm/Getty Pictures

Rebels second-five Ray Nu’u was red-carded late within the match for his hit on Christian Leali’ifano.

Opening the second stanza with way more intent to play, the guests have been then rewarded 10 minutes into the half when Abraham Pole charged over to place them again in entrance.

However that lead lasted all of just some minutes, because the Rebels received going dangerously down the opposite finish and on a left shift it was Hodge who dummied and coasted between two defenders to dive in untouched.

Then within the 62nd minute got here what proved to be the clincher, as simply after Tavatavanawai made a incredible run, the ball was turned over and the Rebels went the size, with Wallabies winger Andrew Kellaway ending in type within the nook.

The large second

Look no additional than the gorgeous length-of-the-field crew effort which noticed Andrew Kellaway end in spectacular type within the right-hand nook quickly after the hour-mark. It gave the Rebels their greatest lead of the evening (9) and from there they have been adequate to shut it out.

Match score

5/10: Maybe not so unexpectedly, contemplating the place the pair of groups sit on the ladder, it was nothing an excessive amount of of a spectacle – the pair of second-half Rebels tries apart – in entrance of the acquainted sight from final weekend’s Tremendous Spherical – a heap of empty inexperienced seats.

The large image

The Rebels at the moment are into eighth spot, some extent forward of the Drive, who’ve a recreation in hand, whereas Moana (who even have a recreation in hand) nonetheless sit on the backside of the pile, three behind the Fijian Drua. Each groups now head to Auckland, with the Rebels dealing with the table-topping Blues at Eden Park on Friday evening and Moana internet hosting the Crusader-beating Waratahs at Mt Good Stadium subsequent Saturday night.


Rebels fullback Reece Hodge was an knowledgeable in profitable his aspect the kicking battle with some sensible nudges. He then scored a slick second-half try to laid on the final cross for Andrew Kellaway’s decisive strike. He additionally banged over three of his 4 conversion makes an attempt.

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