Moana Pasifika finish debut season on high, stunning Brumbies

Moana Pasifika have finished their first season in Super Rugby on huge high, taking down Australia's top-seeded team at home.

Moana Pasifika players celebrate Lotu Inisi try.

Moana Pasifika took down the Brumbies 32-22 on Saturday evening at Mt Smart Stadium to wrap up their debut season and give captain Sekope Kepu a night to remember in his 150th Super Rugby game.

Kepu's 150th threatened to be a quiet affair after he was red-carded early in the encounter for a high tackle on Andy Muirhead, reducing his side to 14 men for 20 minutes.

However, Moana Pasifika remained resilient and only allowed a single try, via a rolling maul from the ensuing penalty of Kepu's high shot, during the one-man deficit.

Sekope Kepu reacts after his red card.

In fact, Moana Pasifika started to pile on the pressure shortly after despite being down a man and in the end took the lead from a stunned Brumbies outfit courtesy of tries to William Havili and Joe Apiokotoa.

The hosts weren't done in the first half, continuing to keep the Brumbies pinned down to the point the visitors' frustrations started to show in the penalty column.

After a warning from the referee for too many penalties in their own 22, the Brumbies were reduced to 14 then 13 players as Moana Pasifika scored a penalty try on half time.

Conal McInerney was the first yellow card for the Brumbies as a result of poor discipline on their tryline but shortly after he left, Jahrome Brown joined him for offside play that denied Moana Pasifika from scoring a certain try.

The penalty try gave Moana Pasifika a 19-7 lead at the break on the back of 72 per cent possession for the half.

The Brumbies struck first after the break through a Noah Lolesio drop goal but Christian Lealiifano responded soon after with a penalty goal.

With much better control of the ball in the second half, the Brumbies started to show signs of a comeback as Lachlan Lonergan went over to score in the 58th minute, making it a 22-17 scoreline heading into the final quarter.

But as they had all evening, Moana Pasifika again rolled up their sleeves and got to work wrestling back control of the game.

That led to a phenomenal scrum deep in the Brumbies territory in the 75th minute before a follow-up scrum set the platform for Lotu Inisi to seal the match.

The Brumbies scored after the hooter to lessen the blow but the celebrations were already starting with Moana Pasifika sending a statement in their final game that they aren't a side to take likely.

For the Brumbies, the loss hurts twice as bad as it means they finish the season fourth one point behind the third-placed Chiefs on the standings, leaving them to play the fifth-placed Hurricanes in next week's quarter-finals instead of the sixth-placed Waratahs.

Moana Pasifika 32 [William Havili, Joe Apiokotoa, Lotu Inisi tries; William Havili 1 con, Christian Leali'ifano 2 pen, 1 con]

Brumbies 22 [Conal McInerney, Lachlan Lonergan, Pete Samu tries; Noal Lolesio 2 con, 1 dg]

HT: 19-7