Oui. Just the deux, then. And probably the ‘deux’ teams favoured to meet in the final all the way back when. But holy moly,…
Centre Alex Nankivell and winger Etene Nanai-Seturo have scored two tries each to lead the Chiefs to a 45-12 Super Rugby Pacific win over Moana Pasifika in Hamilton.
Nankivell scored a try either side of half-time in Saturday’s match to help set up the win, while Nanai-Seturo dotted down in the 14th and 56th minutes.
Captain Luke Jacobson scored the Chiefs’ first try and Rivez Reihana their last, with the six-tries-to-two romp improving the team’s record to 5-3.
Chiefs five-eighth Bryn Gatland produced a flawless kicking display with seven goals from seven attempts.
Moana Pasifika (1-7) have now played six games in three weeks as they make up for matches postponed early in the season due to COVID-19.
That created a massive test of their depth in their debut Super Rugby season, and their only win during that period was an upset victory over the Hurricanes on March 25.
“We knew Moana were going to come out firing. They’re a very physical team,” Jacobson said.
“They’ve won a lot of respect in this tournament.
“They’ve had a hard run, they came out week in and week out — or less than week in and week out — and they put a good performance out.”
Jacobson scored the opening try in the 11th minute from a lineout error by Moana Pasifika. He peeled from the subsequent scrum and dived over.
Nanai-Seturo’s first came in the 14th minute, again from a lineout, when Gatland was left in space and was able to work the ball to his flank.
Anzelo Tuitavuki drove through Shaun Stevenson’s tackle for Moana Pasifika’s first try in the 19th minute but Nankivell’s first try allowed the Chiefs to go to halftime with a 24-5 lead.
A try by Solomone Kata four minutes after half-time brought Moana Pasifika back into the match at 24-12, but Nankivell’s second re-established the Chiefs’ advantage.