Partisan crowd will roar on Moana Pasifika in Apia

Moana Pasifika will have around 20,000 local fans cheering them on Friday evening in a Super Rugby Pacific showdown against the Reds at Apia Park in Samoa.

Head coach Aaron Mauger is counting on the noise of the partisan crowd to get his players over the line in a historic match, the first Moana Pasiifka has played in any of its base countries.

RNZ Pacific reports Mauger hopes that home advantage will give his warriors their first win of the season.

"It has been exciting. The fans are excited. The players are excited," he told RNZ Pacific.

"We have had a good week [in Apia] and the players are focused on the job at hand."

The former All Blacks and Crusaders star believes the team has been through a tough season but have improved in all their games.

Last week they pressured the Crusaders, led at half-time and only lost out in the last 15 minutes.

Tomorrow Mauger does not believe it will be any easier.

"The Reds will be tough. They have the Brad Thorne thinking across the team. We do not expect any less," Mauger said.

He believes his players have learned alot and will be up for the test.

It will be hot in Apia tomorrow, something that might help Moana.

But the game is always determined by the bounce of the ball and how you control the possession you have.

It is something Mauger believes strongly in.

That is something he has driven home to the players.

"No pressure at all , all we are asking of the players is to give it their best. It willn be great to win at home in front of our families and fans."

Mauger has made a number of tactical and forced changes in the face injuries to key players to the side that will face the Reds.

Isi Tu'ungafasi will make his debut start when he'll line up alongside Ezekiel Lindenmuth and Samiuela Moli in the front row. Mike McKee comes into the second row, replacing the injured Samuel Slade.


1. Ezekiel Lindenmuth

2. Samiuela Moli

3. Isi Tu'ungafasi

4. Michael Curry

5. Mike McKee

6. Miracle Faiilagi

7. Niko Jones

8. Solomone Funaki (c)

9. Ereatara Enari

10. Lincoln McClutchie

11. Neria Fomai

12. Danny Toala

13. Levi Aumua

14. Timoci Tavatavanawai

15. William Havili

16. Luteru Tolai

17. Abraham Pole

18. Suetena Asomua

19. Potu Leavasa

20. Sione Tu'ipulotu

21. Manu Paea

22. D'Angelo Leuila

23. Fine Inisi