Thu, 10/03/2022, 5:38 am
Nathan Williamson

SANZAAR has been forced to postpone another Super Rugby Pacific game, with the round four clash between the Hurricanes and Moana Pasifika unable to proceed as a result of COVID.

The decision comes after an outbreak in the Hurricanes camp, unable to field 23 fit players for Saturday's match.

“Every effort was made to play this match but despite looking at replacement player options the number of players affected by COVID was simply too great to overcome and the right decision has been reached," NZR General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum said in a statement.

“We are supporting the Hurricanes as much as we can as they deal with a large number of players being unavailable, while it is obviously disappointing for Moana Pasifika who were itching to play again after finally getting their season underway last week."

This comes just days after the club's Super Rugby Aupiki side were forced to withdraw from their historic opener after their own outbreak.

"We were obviously gutted for our women's (Poua) Super Rugby squad when they had to pull out of their inaugural match and now our men’s team are dealing with their own disappointment, so I guess it shows how widely COVID is affecting people right now," CEO Avan Lee said.

“We are also disappointed for Moana Pasifika who have already had to deal with this situation twice this season. We’d like to thank them for their understanding, and we look forward to meeting them later in the season.”

“Dealing with Covid is extremely complicated and it is important that the focus shifts to the health and well-being of the Hurricanes team. Under the circumstances postponing the game is the right decision and Moana Pasifika wishes the Hurricanes team a speedy recovery and look forward to meeting on the field soon," Moana Pasifika CEO Pelenato Sakalia added.

The cancellation ensures the Pasifika will have played just one game in the opening month of the competition after they missed the first two rounds of the season.

SANZAAR confirmed they are close to confirming dates to make up the matches.

"The tournament Competition Committee is close to confirming the rescheduling of Moana Pasifika’s previous two postponed matches against the Blues and Chiefs and is now also working on the rescheduling of the Hurricanes versus Moana Pasifika match for later in the season," they said in a statement.

"The detail on these matches will be released in the near future."