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Super Rugby: Waratahs must be wary of Moana threat

Winning their last meeting in Sydney, Moana Pasifika will be looking to make it back-to-back wins over the Waratahs when they clash in Auckland on Saturday.

It’s a battle at the foot of the ladder that awaits at Go Media Stadium, with 11th-place Moana looking to condemn the rock-bottom Waratahs to the wooden spoon this season.

While there are bigger clashes this week towards the top of the Super Rugby Pacific ladder, points and pride are at stake when the Tahs make the trip across The Tasman to Auckland.

. What: Moana Pasifika v Waratahs
. Where: Go Media Stadium, Auckland
. When: 14:35 (AEST), Saturday 25th May 2024
. How to watch: Stan Sports
. Odds: Moana Pasifika 1.68, Waratahs 2.20

Tahs desperate to avoid wooden spoon

With just two wins from 12 games this season, it’s been a sorry campaign for head coach Darren Coleman and his side.

Beaten convincingly 27-7 by Western Force in their last outing in Perth, the Tahs now have another away game in Auckland, before finishing the campaign at home to the Reds.

The end of the season can’t really come soon enough for Coleman’s squad, who have taken a significant step backwards, while the likes of the Rebels and the Force have both improved.

Now the Tahs are set to finish last of the Australian teams but they can still avoid 12th place.

They will need to pull off a win at Go Media Stadium this weekend, something they are the 2.20 underdogs to achieve.

Losing all of their last six games in New Zealand and conceding an average of 44.8 points per game in that spell, the Waratahs know they will need to do better without the ball if they are to overcome Moana.

Moana can finish on a high

With games against the Tahs and Crusaders in their final two fixtures of the campaign, Moana will be eager to finish the season on a high.

Boss Tana Umaga has overseen his side win just three times this season, while conceding the most points in the competition with 430 at an average of 35.8 a game.

Until Moana addresses their defensive woes, they will always struggle to be a competitive force in the finals come the end of the season.

The Auckland outfit can look back on their 33-24 win over the Waratahs at the Allianz Arena in June last year for inspiration ahead of Saturday’s game.

It looks set to be a high-scoring contest, with both sides struggling in the defensive department this season.

Over 57.5 total points is available at 1.91, in a game that is bound to see plenty of tries scored.

Abraham Pole has managed to score two tries in his last three outings for Moana and the prop is currently 3.60 in the anytime tryscorer market against the Tahs on Saturday.

Come the full-time whistle, we will have a much clearer picture of where the dreaded wooden spoon will be heading this season.

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