2023 Super Rugby Pacific 10 Key Matchups

2023 Super Rugby Pacific 10 Key Matchups

2023 Super Rugby Pacific 10 Key Matchups

Super Rugby Pacific 2023 Ten Important Games

 

In 2023, the Super Rugby Pacific will return to its original structure, with all matches between Australian and New Zealand sides to take place during daylight hours.


Moreover, with the easing of COVID regulations, Fijian Drua will be able to play their home games in Fiji, and Moana Pasifika will go to Suva for the first time in round eight.


Here are 10 key Super Rugby Pacific matchups.


Rd 1: ACT Brumbies vs NSW Waratahs


NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies commence the Australian season with a blockbuster match. Old rivals NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies are eager to set the tone for an entertaining season in Australia's opening game.


The Waratahs will now be able to call the new Allianz Stadium their permanent home, marking the end of their nomadic existence in Greater Sydney.


Last year, Darren Coleman made Leichhardt a fortress, so the team has to get off to a good start this year to keep fans invested in the rebuild after a breakthrough season.


The Brumbies start under new coach Stephen Larkham, who formerly coached Munster.


In regards to the Australian sides, the ACT side is the 'hunted' after their semi-final appearance and will need their Wallaby-lathered core to lift as they enter life without Tom Banks, Folau Fainga'a, Irae Simone, and Scott Sio.


Following their semi-final performance, the ACT team is now the 'hunted,' and they'll need the morale boost provided by their Wallaby-laden core as they adjust to life without Tom Banks, Folau Fainga'a, Irae Simone, and Scott Sio.


Rd 1: Melbourne Rebels  vs Western Force 


As the Force and the Rebels continue their rivalry to Perth, a new chapter can be written.


Whether it's fair or not, both teams' histories will always be linked. This matchup always produces great games, but the Rebels' one-point win at HBF Park in April was the best.


Michael Wells' move from the Rebels to the Force, where he plays with new coach Simon Cron, is another interesting development for the Victorian-based club. Cron's predecessor, Tim Sampson's, move to the club was similarly intriguing.


The Rebels want to create momentum before Super Round returns to Round 2 in Melbourne.


Rd 3: Hurricanes vs Blues


In 2022, Leon McDonald and the Blues were dominant, winning 11 of their 12 games. Who was it they couldn't defeat? Team name: Hurricanes. Ardie Savea's late try sparked a 33-32 comeback in Dunedin.


Rd 4: Crusaders vs Blues 


The rematch for the Grand Final doesn't get any bigger.


In 2022, both teams showed that they were the best in the competition by beating their rivals.


The Blues may have been minor premiers, but the Crusaders proved once again why they are among the most successful teams in World Rugby by winning the inaugural championship.


Cullen Grace's development as a superstar will be fascinating to witness after Pablo Matera's departure.
Rd 5: Hurricanes vs Moana Pasifika 


The Hurricanes were the first team to lose to the new club, and they have always been bitter about it.


After scoring an extra-time try in Moana Pasifika's 24-19 triumph, Danny Toala became an instant hero to the Mt Smart crowd.


Even though last year's playoff victory over the Brumbies was a huge confidence boost going into this season, they still need to bring in some best players to make a serious run at the playoffs.


At the same time, the Hurricanes' young playmaking core benefits greatly from Brett Cameron's presence.


Rd 7: Brumbies vs Reds 

 

Over the past five years, the competition has intensified, and a return to Suncorp will further ratchet up the action.
The two sides will meet twice, the first time at GIO Stadium in Round 3 as they each try to establish themselves as Australia's best.


Losing Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Hamish Stewart, the Reds' late-season decline has increased the burden on the team and manager Brad Thorn.


Super Rugby AU champions the Reds defeated the Brumbies 21-7 in April; therefore the Brumbies will be out for payback.


Rd 8: Reds vs Moana Pasifika 


In round eight, Moana will play their debut game in Samoa against the Reds in Apia.


Expect a carnival-like atmosphere as the crowd supports the Drua in their first home game outside of New Zealand.


After facing the Blues in the inaugural Super Rugby match in the region in 2017, the Reds had a good idea of what to expect.


Hunter Paisami and Jordan Petaia are among the Reds' Samoan-descended players.


Rd 12: Highlanders vs Brumbies 


This matchup is huge as both teams are looking to make a statement in the race for the championship as the playoffs get underway.


The Brumbies won Super Round by a score of 28-17, and then beat the Hurricanes and Chiefs.


Rd 14: Moana Pasifika vs Fijian Drua 


In Round 14, the two new teams will meet for the first time in Fiji. The Drua won their first game at CommBank Stadium by a score of 34–19.


The return to Fiji means that the Drua will have six home games instead of just two. They are still looking for their first win after close losses to the Highlanders and Chiefs.


The rivalry game is sure to draw a huge audience.


Rd 15: Chiefs vs Force 


Even though these teams don't have a traditional rivalry, the outcome of the regular season's finale could have a significant impact on who makes the playoffs.


The Force came so close, but fell just short, after a late-season surge that saw them overcome the Moana Pasifika and the Hurricanes in the span of a week.


The Chiefs, who lost to the Brumbies at home in the quarterfinals, will be hurting and want to end their season on a high note.