Moana Pasifika officially ends Waratahs’ final hopes

Moana Pasifika have put the NSW Waratahs out of their misery, officially ending the Sydneysiders’ Super Rugby Pacific finals hopes with a rousing 27-12 victory in Auckland.

Even the Waratahs had conceded it was “ridiculous” they could still make the playoffs after winning only two of 12 matches in 2024.

But Saturday’s four-tries-to-two defeat at Go Media Stadium left the last-placed Tahs with no mathematical hope of scraping into the finals.

they must beat the Queensland Reds in their last game of the season next Friday at Allianz Stadium to avoid sending off outgoing coach Darren Coleman Instead with the dreaded wooden spoon.

Wiped out of every one of their contracted front-rowers, the Waratahs always faced an uphill battle competing physically with the bruising Moana Pasifika forward pack.

And so it proved as the Pacific Islanders ran in the first four tries to open up a match-winning 27-0 lead inside the hour mark.

Powerhouse No.8 Lotu Inisi collected a double after fullback Kyren Taumoefolau crossed for the opening try in the 15th minute.

Inspirational former Waratahs and Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu brought the house down when he stormed over to put the icing on the cake.

The Waratahs had to settle for two late consolation tries to back-rower Langi Gleeson and strike center Izaia Perese.

While the Tahs can start planning for 2025, Moana’s fourth win of the season has given them a slim hope of making the finals if they can topple struggling defending champions the Crusaders next week in Christchurch.