After finishing off the weekday working week, Super Rugby returns for Round 6 of 15 starting with Moana Pasifika taking on the Highlanders through first of the two Friday doubleheaders alongside Reds v Crusaders in Brisbane later tonight. It was a close and tight opening half with Moana taking the early headstart but the Highlanders wasted no time catching up before they got away with a two-point lead at half-time, 17-19. Then in the 2nd half, the Highlanders came out comfortably on top with more tries on the board, while Moana fell away where they struggled to shift past first gear before they endured another brutal evening v another established NZ SR side, 17-45.
Tough night seeing another loss once again from Moana at their home ground (Mt Smart Stadium) in Auckland. They fired off not bad when Moana got away with the first big score v the Highlanders, although they were a little behind throughout the opening 40 where Moana was closer to regaining the lead at one point just before half-time. Unfortunately, they threw away that good start going into a scoreless 2nd half as the Highlanders won fair & square. Moana will have to enter as extreme outsiders v top side Crusaders in Christchurch next Friday.
And good to see the Highlanders keep up their winning form following a rough first couple of weeks v Blues, Crusaders & Chiefs. They may have been given the opening punch by Moana but the Highlanders got back up & running with three tries in the first half before they went on to capitalise even more big scores following an easy night out away from home. Now that the Landers are enjoying their 2023 campaign so far, let’s see if they can get past the Hurricanes next Saturday night, and prove that they can put themselves in the mix v the other 4 NZ teams & maybe 1 Australian side towards that Super Rugby silverware in early June.