“We’re used to it” – Fa’alogo Tana Umaga on Moana Pasifika’s struggles to find a new home

Tana Umaga

Moana Pasifika are no strangers to when it comes to hiccups in the start of the season.

In 2022 – their maiden year – the newly established club went through four match postponements, resulting in them having to catch up with five games in 19 days.

This year after relocating to North Harbour Stadium, repairs and maintenance on the pitch has forced the club to call off their home games at their new home.

And so far, two home games have already been played at different venues.

“Obviously we want a new home,” Moana coach Fa’alogo Tana Umaga says.

“We’re used to it, our ancestors were voyagers and travellers and they lived on the sea so we’re adaptable. But we’re very happy with where we are at.”

Fellow Pacific brothers the Fijian Drua have seen better results this year, benefiting from their home games in Fiji. 

After defeating defending champions Crusaders in their first home fixture, Drua have also toppled the Waratahs and Western Force on Fiji soil.

For Fa’alogo, he hopes that this can be the case for Moana, but understands that they have to adapt to what is at hand.

“We represent Tonga and Samoa but we can’t be based there due to infrastructure reasons.

“Some people don’t want us here in Auckland but that is okay. We’ve just gotta make do with what we got and just keep working.”

Having been involved with Manu Samoa in last year’s World Cup campaign, he believes that there is still a long way to go before relocating to the islands becomes a reality.

“We all love dreams but I guess we just have to be realistic,” he says.

“I think the actual reality of moving to the islands is still a long way to go. That’s my opinion having been involved with Samoan rugby in terms of resources, which I know is the same for [the] Tonga Rugby Union.”