Sekope Kepu (C)
Timoci Tavatavanawai (debut)
Moana Pasifika Team Named For Blues, Eden Park
Moana Pasifika have named their team to play the rematch against the Blues on Saturday. Round 7 of DHL Super Rugby Pacific sees the two Auckland-based teams play each other twice in the space of four days. With the short turnaround, Head Coach Aaron Mauger has named a very different side to the team who went down on Tuesday 32-19.
Sekope Kepu returns to Captain the side and is joined in the front row by Ezekiel Lindenmuth and Samiuela Moli at hooker. Veikoso Poloniati and Michael Curry will combine at lock to round out the tight five. Curry started Tuesday’s match and earnt his start on Saturday after a tremendous performance on debut.
The same starting loose forward trio from Moana Pasifika’s historic 24-19 win over the Hurricanes will return to the field with Tu’ipulotu, Funaki and Time-Stowers set to play at Eden Park.
Ereatara Enari will combine with Christian Leali’ifano in a new 9 & 10 combination which boasts plety of Super Rugby experience.
An unchanged starting midfield combination in Solomone Kata and Fine Inisi will look to build on their fine form from Tuesday’s game.
Playing three games in eight days has seen several debutants take the field and Ta$man Mako flyer Timoci Tavatavanawai will make his long awaited debut on the right wing. Anzelo Tuitavuki keeps his left wing spot from Tuesday and William Havili returns to fullback.
There is plenty of impact and firepower to come from the bench with the likes of experienced Manu Samoa halfback Dwayne Polataivao and Tuesday night try scorers Luteru Tolai, Abraham Pole and Tomasi Alosio.
MacDonald confirmed Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was an unlikely starter for Saturday as he works back from his shoulder injury, and with Beauden Barrett out in concussion protocols and Josh Goodhue, Dalton Papalii, Rieko Ioane and Hoskins Sotutu all nursing blows from the trip to Dunedin, he has a bit to think about on the selection front.
@tim promising he brackets Goodhue as an injury rather than Concussion protocols.
But on Beaudy, yikes, poor buggar, expect it must be a shit issue to come back from, as it would likely make you a bit tentative going into contact, which is a bad thing in itself!
Predictions for Saturday’s team?
I'm guessing that some of the midfielders such as Aumua are injured.
Also weird that Visinia is not getting a run on the bench. Fomai must also be injured as well for Tuitavuki to be starting again.
Only 4 Shield Snorters in the team this week, I can't abide this.
Blues vs Moana Pasifika 2022