Super Rugby Pacific: Moana Pasifika boss Aaron Mauger cracks down on discipline

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Moana Pasifika head coach Aaron Mauger confirmed that two of his players will not be available for selection against the Fijian Drua due to a violation of team protocol.

Centre Levi Aumua and second-row Samuel Slade will not be involved in this weekend’s clash, with the club not revealing any information on the incident.

Teams discipline

Mauger says the decision emphasised the team commitment to their standard and discipline but confirmed it was not a serious misconduct.

“Our team is a new team and it’s really important we uphold the highest standards of discipline,” Mauger told Stuff.

“People make mistakes, young men make mistakes and they often find themselves in situations they get wrong.

“But there has got to be a consequence for that. It’s not a serious misconduct, but it’s enough for these two guys to stand down for a week and make sure they learn the lesson.”

Mauger says that both players have accepted their punishment and believes it is a good reminder of their team ethos.

“Both guys have owned it,” he said.

“They know they slipped up and they’re both quality men.

“They’ve been two of our best rugby players all year and they know they got it wrong, so there was a consequence coming.

“It’s what we’re about. A lot of the things we talk about on the field, about discipline, control and patience and all the things that will help us become a better rugby team.

“That doesn’t start on the field, it starts with how we are with everything we do.

“It sends a message with what we’re about and I know those guys will make it right, they both trained outstandingly today.

“It’s made them hungry and it’s a good reminder for everybody of what we’re about as a team.”

Their clash this weekend will be the first ever game between Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua, both newcomers in Super Rugby Pacific.

“It’s a celebration of both teams’ inclusion into Super Rugby and we’re on a very similar jersey,” Mauger said.

“I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting occasion and two teams that are pretty evenly matched. It will be a great spectacle for our fans.”

Mauger is looking for more “patience, control and composure” from his side that have been close to winning their last two games.

“The big focus through our review was that we’ve been in a position the last couple of weeks to win both games by 15-20 points and the lesson there is around patience, control and composure,” Mauger said.

“We were building a lot of pressure inside the Waratahs 22 and we rushed things at times. That’s a little bit down to experience, but that will get better.

“In both weeks we’ve dropped the ball over the line and the outcomes change.

“They are fine margins, but we believe there is a lot more in our control through the quality of our own game where we can really put those teams away.

“But we’ve got to do that, there’s no point in talking about it, we’ve got to put it into action.

“It was a pretty similar view to the previous week and our boys were really disappointed that they’d let it slip.

“If you look at the first 30 minutes we played against the Waratahs, it was probably as good as nearly any team has played all year.

“We were really dominant and barring a couple of opportunities where we let them in, it was an outstanding performance against a quality side.”

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