Match Centre: Super Rugby Pacific: Moana Pasifika 20-26 Waratahs

Waratahs have climbed to the fifth place in the table
Waratahs have climbed to the fifth place in the table

Moana Pasifika 20-26 NSW Waratahs, Mt Smart Stadium

Waratahs managed to hold on Moana Pasifika as they sealed a 20-26 win in the latest round of the Super Rugby Pacific at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.

This is ninth defeat for Moana Pasifika in 10 games as they languish at the bottom of the table while Waratahs are at fifth position with seven wins from 11 matches.

The home side dominated the opening exchanges as Christian Lealiifano landed a penalty goal in the 9th minute and they extended their advantage with Abraham Pole dotting down in the 15th minute and Levi Aumua dived from close range in the 21st minute.

Lealiifano kicked both the conversions as they increased the lead to 17-0 before the visitors made a comeback through a touchdown from Izaia Perese in the 28th minute and Tane Edmed followed with the conversion.

As the break was approaching, Dave Porecki, who recently signed a contract extension crossed the whitewash and Edmed's conversion meant the Australian club reduced the gap down to three points at the end of the opening half.

Lealiifano helped Moana stretch the lead with an early penalty goal in the second half but their momentum was hampered with Tima Fainga'anuku sin-binned in the 54th minute. With the numerical advantage on their side, Mark Nawaqanitawase and Dylan Pietsch dotted down for the visitors in the 55th and 61st minutes which proved enough as Waratahs completed a six-point victory.

Waratahs will be lining up against Hurricanes next while Moana Pasifika will lock horns with Fijian Drua in the 13th round with both the matches scheduled on 14th May.