Motuga, Polataivao score in Moana Pasifika defeat
The Moana Pasifika team has come up short in their debut match against the Maori All Blacks at FMG Stadium Waikato, losing 21-28.
But the Fa’alogo Tana Umaga-coached team showed there is plenty of potential in moving forward and with a bit more time together as a group, they can go a long way.
Captained by Manu Samoa prop, Michael Alalatoa, it was his fellow Manu Samoa teammates, Alamanda Motuga and Dwayne Polataivao who scored the team’s only tries.
The historical match started off in spine-tinkling fashion with the battle of war dances that left the crowd excited.
But with the limited time together, the first half failed to live up to the hype as both teams struggled to fine their rhythm and continuality.
Another Samoan in Josh Ioane gave Moana Pasifika a 9-7 lead at the halftime with three penalty kicks. The only try in the first spell came from Maori fullback Kaleb Trask who then converted to put his team on the board.
The Moana team looked a lot better in the second half but so did the Maoris when the game opened up a bit more.
The Maoris captain Ash Dixon and teammate Billy Proctor scored to give their team the lead.
But Manu Samoa Sevens stalwart Alamanda Motuga responded with a try for the Pasifika team to keep them in the game.
Mitch Karpik was next to score for Maoris, extending their lead.
Dwayne Polataivao scored for the Pasifika team with five minutes to go but the Maori All Blacks hung on for the famous victory.
Moana Pasfika team:
1: Daniel Lienert-Brown 2: Leni Apisai 3: Michael Alaalatoa (C) 4: Gerard Cowley-Tuioti 5: Naitoa Ah Kuoi 6: Peseta Marino Mikaele-Tu’u 7: Alamanda Motuga 8: Pita-Gus Sowakula 9: Folau Fakatava 10: Josh Ioane 11: Salesi Rayasi 12: Vince Aso 13: Fetuli Paea 14: Leicester Fainga’anuku 15: Stephen Perofeta
Reserves: Samisoni Taukie'aho, Jordan Lay, Sione Mafileo, Samipeni Finau, Nasi Manu, Dwayne Polataivao, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Taimalelagia Etene Nanai-Seturo
Maori All Blacks
1: Josh Hohneck 2: Ash Dixon 3: Marcel Renata 4: Isaia Walker-Leawere 5: Manaaki Selby-Rickit 6: Whetukamokamo Douglas 7: Billy Harmon 8: Liam Messam 9: Bryn Hall 10: Otere Black 11: Sean Wainui 12: Quinn 13: Billy Proctor 14: Shaun Stevenson 15: Kaleb Trask
Reserves: 16: Kurt Eklund 17: Pouri Rakete-Stones 18: Tamaiti Williams 19: Ethan Roots 20: Mitchell Karpik 21: Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi 22: Rameka Poihipi 23: Jonah Lowe
Māori All Blacks 28 (Kaleb Trask, Ash Dixon, Billy Proctor, Mitchell Karpik tries; Trask 4 con)
Moana Pasifika 21 (Alamanda Motuga, Dwayne Polataivao tries; Josh Ioane con, 3 pen). HT: 7-9.