There are not many places in the world as passionate about Rugby League as Samoa. Their fierce pride and unwavering determination – evident in their comeback win against pacific rivals Fiji in the Four Nations qualifying match – will be put to the test against the world’s best. Challenge accepted!
Samoa’s squad: Leeson Ah Mau (St George Illawarra Dragons), David Fa’alogo (Newcastle Knights), Pita Godinet (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Tim Lafai (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Joey Leilua (Newcastle Knights), Isaac Liu (Sydney Roosters), Dunamis Lui (Manly Sea Eagles), Penani Manumalealii (Cronulla Sharks), Mose Masoe (St Helens), Peter Mata’utia (St George Illawarra Dragons), Reni Maitua (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Tautau Moga (North Queensland Cowboys), Dominique Peyroux (New Zealand Warriors), Frank Pritchard (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Ben Roberts (Melbourne Storm), Jesse Sene-Lefao (Manly Sea Eagles), Tim Simona (Wests Tigers), Michael Sio (New Zealand Warriors), Kyle Stanley (St George Illawarra Dragons), Sauaso Sue (Wests Tigers), Sam Tagataese (Cronulla Sharks), Daniel Vidot (Brisbane Broncos), Antonio Winterstein (North Queensland Cowboys).
Toa Samoa have plenty NRL experience in what should be a very competitive side. 100-1 outsiders, the bookies have written them off already. No doubt this will serve as extra motivation for a side who thrive off the underdog tag. Undoubtedly their strength comes in their beastly forward pack. Mose Masoe has had a great season at St Helens, and will be all set to bull doze anyone who stands in his way. His aggression coupled with NRL Grand Finalist Frank Pritchard and David Fa’alongo’s strength should lay an excellent platform for the half backs.
It goes without question that Samoa are a talented bunch of footballers. They just need to keep their heads, and not let their relative inexperience on the international stage get the better of them.
When Samoa take on England they need to stay in the game for as long as possible. If they can get to the half time mark still in the contest, who knows what can happen. They don’t have the burden of having to travel across the world, and their players will be nicely acclimatised to the conditions. Samoa will be licking their lips at the chance on taking on the world’s best. How will they fare? Only time will tell. But who knows: stranger things have happened.