Māori All Blacks 28 (Trask, Dixon, Proctor, Karpik tries, Trask 4 cons) Moana Pasifika 21 (Motuga, Polataivao tries, Ioane con, 3 pens)
These two teams have ensured the 2020 rugby season ended on a high note, with the Māori All Blacks holding off Moana Pasifika 28-21 in Hamilton.
The tone was set early with a scintillating showdown of pre-game challenges, with Moana Pasifika debuting a Polynesian megamix that included elements of the Samoan Sivi Tau, Tongan Sipi Tau, and Fijian Cibi against another fearsome Māori All Blacks haka.
After Moana Pasifika went into the sheds with a 9-7 lead, the Māori All Blacks came out firing in the second stanza, running in two quick tries to surge into the lead.
Moana Pasifika kept in touch with tries of their own - including a late score to set-up a grandstand finish - but weren't able to nab a late score to steal a draw.
Quinn Tupaea and Manaaki Selby-Rickit were stand outs for the Māori All Blacks, while Folau Fakatava and Pita-Gus Sowakula were immense for Moana Pasifika.
FULLTIME - Click the video above for all the try-scoring highlights.
80 mins - MAB keeping things tight here as the clock runs out. There goes the buzzer, Black kicks into touch and that will be that.
79 mins - Selby-Rickit wins a turnover from the restart to put the MABs on attack, inside the MP 22m. He's a had a brilliant game.
77 mins - TRY MOANA PASIFIKA to Dwayne Polataivao - The Mako bursts from the back of the scrum to power his way over the line and set-up an exciting finish here. (MAB 28-21)
76 mins - MP put in a monster shunt to earn a 5m attacking scrum. Last roll of the dice here.
69 mins - TRY MĀORI ALL BLACKS to Mitch Karpik - Tupaea dragged down inches short after a powerful run at midfield. Ball is spun quickly for Karpik to duck under a tackle and crash over the chalk to score what may well be the match-clincher. Trask nails the conversion.
67 mins - Huge shunt from the MABs and they win a defensive scrum penalty. Again, Black goes to the corner to setup the 5m lineout.
64 mins - Late tackle gifts the MABs a shot at the line from a 5m lineout. Dixon dictating proceedings but MP defend well and earn themselves a scrum.
62 mins - Rayasi freed up on the blindside from a between-the-legs pass from Fakatava, but his kick ahead misses his foot. MABs scrum it near the MP 22m.
60 mins - Knock-on at the maul from the lineout, excellent defence from MP. They'll feed a scum at their own 5m.
58 mins - Penalty MABs at the lineout. We move to a lineout at the MP 5m, after a stunning touchfinder from Black.
53 mins - TRY MOANA PASIFIKA to Alamanda Motuga - The flanker runs one in from first receiver just a metre short, cashing in on a Rayasi break. Ioane's conversion hits the post. (MP 21-14)
50 mins - TRY MĀORI ALL BLACKS to Billy Proctor - Showtime from the MABs, as Tupaea dances down the left touch, grubbers and regathers, then finds Proctor in support with a chest pass to run in the final 20m. Trask converts. (MABs 21-9)
49 mins - Black tries to chip and chase but the ball rolls dead in-goal.
46 mins - MABs steal another lineout. Black bombs, Rayasi up to the task. More kicks traded, until Perofeta muffs one into touch at his own 22m. Another attacking chance here for the MABs.
43 mins - TRY MĀORI ALL BLACKS to Ash Dixon - The hooker does what he's been doing all season long - driving a maul over the line from a close-range lineouts. Trask slots the conversion. (MAB 14-9)
41 mins - Black gets us restarted. Fakatava clears and Trask is hit while he's in the air on the reception. Penalty MABs, early attacking opportunity 15m out.
Second half underway...
39 mins - Scrum MABs in the middle of the park. Hall crossfield kick from the base of the scrum, one bounce and into touch. Odd option. Lineout throw in't straight, and that will do us for the first half.
34 mins - Cowley-Tuioti does well to force a defensive penalty at the breakdown. MP will throw a lineout at the MAB 22m. Selby-Rickit spoils it with yet another lineout steal.
31 mins - MP quickly back to the MAB 22m. Sowakula beats one, Ioane grubbers to cash in the penalty advantage. Ioane will take the gift three points here. (MP 9-7)
27 mins - Fakatava with a superb turnover to put his side on the attack, inside the 22m they go. Paea pulled down by a bootstring and he can't quite offload to Mikaele Tu'u with the tryline beckoning. Scrum MAB on their own 5m. Black clears very effectively, back to halfway.
23 mins - TRY MĀORI ALL BLACKS to Kaleb Trask - The fullback runs a brilliant line at first receiver to go straight through the defence untouched and score under the crossbar. (MAB 7-6)
22 mins - MAB penalty, and they launch from the lineout just inside enemy territory.
20 mins - Defensive scrum for the MABs after staving off a raid. Free kick to MP against the feed, MABs failed to hook for the ball. Don't see that everyday. MP scrum on the MAB 22m.
16 mins - Stevenson dances around two defenders and links with Kaleb Trask, who runs it into the corner...but the touch judge has his flag up. No try.
14 mins - Ioane's bomb is on the money and Rayasi leaps to reel it in and put MP on the offensive. Defensive penalty goes to the MAB, illegal entry. They relieve the pressure to halfway.
12 mins - MP building nicely on attack but the ball is knocked on, MAB scrum at their own 30m.
9 mins - MP earn another penalty for offside, and they'll look to the posts again. 40m out on a slight angle for Ioane... no problem. (MP 6-0)
8 mins - Dixon drives the MAB to the chalk from a close range lineout. Whetu Douglas crashes over and claims a try, but the referee wants to check for a double movement.... and double movement, it is. Penalty MP, and we head to a lineout at the 10m.
5 mins - MABs go wide again, Stevenson with a tidy grubber along the sideline, chases and manages to hold Rayasi up to force a 5m attacking scrum.
3 mins - MABs nab a turnover and they're on the attack, 20m out. Sowakula returns the favour and MP clear. MAB run things back with width and grab a penalty. Black takes us to a lineout at the MP 22m.
1 min - MP get us started, and they reclaim their kickoff and earn an immediate penalty right in front of the posts. Josh Ioane lines up the penalty...and bangs it over. (MP 3-0)
7:04pm - The MABs respond with their traditional haka, performed with trademark ferocity. Let's get into it.
7:02pm - Pasifika first up with their pre-game challenge, a rousing blend of the Samoan Sivi Tau, the Tongan Sipi Tau, and the Fijian Cibi.
7pm - A karanga rings through FMG Stadium as both teams take to the field simultaneously.
6:58pm - Great conditions in the Tron for today's final serving of rugby for 2020. This should be a spectacle.
Kia ora and welcome to Newshub’s live coverage of the debut fixture between Māori All Blacks and Moana Pasifika in Hamilton.
We’ll have all the action for you from 7pm.
Māori All Blacks - $1.62 Moana Pasifika - $2.20
Moana Pasifika: 1-Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2-Leni Apisai, 3-Michael Alaalatoa, 4-Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 6-Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 7-Alamanda Motuga, 8-Pita-Gus Sowakula, 9-Folau Fakatava, 10-Josh Ioane, 11-Salesi Rayasi, 12-Vince Aso, 13-Fetuli Paea, 14-Leicester Fainga’anuku, 15-Stephen Perofeta
Reserves: 16-Samisoni Taukie'aho, 17-Jordan Lay, 18-Sione Mafielo, 19-Samipeni Finau, 20-Nasi Manu, 21-Dwyane Polataivao, 22-Asaeli Tikoroituma, 23-Etene Nanai-Seturo
Māori All Blacks: 1-Josh Hohneck, 2-Ash Dixon, 3-Marcel Renata, 4-Isaia Walker-Leawere, 5-Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 6-Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7-Billy Harmon, 8-Liam Messam, 9-Bryn Hall, 10-Otere Black, 11-Sean Wainui, 12-Quinn Tupaea, 13-Billy Proctor, 14-Shaun Stevenson, 15-Kaleb Trask
Reserves: 16-Kurt Eklund, 17-Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18-Tamaiti Williams, 19-Ethan Roots, 20-Mitchell Karpik, 21-Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22-Rameka Poihipi, 23-Jonah Lowe
Umaga urges Pacific development as Super Rugby priority
By Ollie Ritchie
Moana Pasifika coach Tana Umaga thinks any Pacific side in Super Rugby must find a way to sustain the game in the islands.
Tomorrow's match against the Māori All Blacks will offer the first taste of what a Moana Pasifika side could look like at the next level.
Umaga's relishing his brief stint with the team and hopes their future is anything but, with the prospect of Super Rugby inclusion from 2022 very much alive.
If they do, the former All Blacks captain wants to see Pacific development put first.
"It's about sustainability, where does that come from," he tells Newshub. "For me it's about building that development pathway from the islands into Super Rugby."
The Pacific has long been calling for inclusion in professional rugby and Saturday's clash with the Māori will provide a good measure of how successful they could be.
Umaga wants his side to use their unity to their advantage, if they are to win.
"We all have a connection, because we're all Pacific Islanders and our stories are very similar," he says. "When we talk to each other, it's like to talking to someone who knows where we're from, we have that deeper connection."
If Moana Pasifika are involved in 2022, Umaga likely won’t be involved straight away, after committing to the Blues until then.
But one player who is keen is captain Michael Alaalatoa.
Umaga admits some water must still go under the bridge before the side is included, but the conversations are encouraging.
"If that does happen, I'd be very proud, as a Pacific Islander, that it will happen in my time."
Pacific rugby is ready to seize its opportunity to flourish.