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Kia ora, good evening, and welcome to Newshub’s live coverage of Super Rugby Pacific’s Magic round, as the Chiefs and Moana Pasifika square off at Melbourne’s AAMI Stadium.
Last week, the Chiefs sent a huge warning to the rest of the competition with a resounding win over the reigning champion Crusaders, and will look for a repeat dose tonight.
They will be without All Blacks midfielder Anton Lienert-Brown, sidelined by an ankle injury, but have an able backup in Rameka Poihipi.
The ever-impressive Etene Nanai-Seturo also returns for his first start of the season, slotting in on the wing.
Meanwhile, Moana Pasifika have made a raft of changes from last week’s defeat to Fijian Drua.
Ezekiel Lindenmuth returns to the front row, and sees Abraham Pole drop to the bench in his place, while Levi Aumua forms a new midfield pairing with Fine Inisi.
An unlikely victory tonight would be Moana Pasifika’s third in Super Rugby since their inception last year, and second over a New Zealand side.
TAB odds: Chiefs $1.02, Moana Pasifika $11, draw $36
Chiefs: 1-Ollie Norris, 2-Samisoni Taukei’aho, 3-George Dyer, 4-Brodie Retallick, 5-Tupou Vaa’i. 6-Pita Gus Sowakula, 7-Sam Cane (cc), 8-Luke Jacobson, 9-Brad Weber (cc), 10-Damian McKenzie, 11-Etene Nanai-Seturo, 12-Rameka Poihipi, 13-Alex Nankivell, 14-Liam Coombes-Fabling, 15-Shaun Stevenson
Reserves: 16-Tyrone Thompson, 17-Jared Proffit, 18-John Ryan, 19-Lachlan McWhannell, 20-Simon Parker, 21-Cortez Ratima, 22-Bryn Gatland, 23-Ngatungane Punivai
Moana Pasifika: 1-Ezekiel Lindenmuth, 2-Samiuela Moli, 3-Chris Apoua, 4-Samuel Slade, 5-Mahroni Ngakuru, 6-Miracle Faiilagi, 7-Solomone Funaki, 8-Jonah Mau’u, 9-Manu Paea, 10-Christian Lealiifano (c), 11-Anzelo Tuitavuki, 12-Levi Aumua, 13-Fine Inisi, 14-Timoci Tavatavanawai, 15-Danny Toala
Reserves: 16-Ray Niuia, 17-Abraham Pole, 18-Suetena Asomua, 19-Michael Curry, 20-Lotu Inisi, 21-Ereatara Enari, 22-William Havili, 23-Henry Taefu