Samoa draw inspiration from Tonga win


SYDNEY: Samoa believe they can shock Australia in rugby league World Cup after Tonga boilover
Prop Sam Tagataese says Tonga’s landmark victory over New Zealand last Saturday has given Samoa the belief they can cause the upset of the century by eliminating holders Australia from the World Cup today.
The first quarter final, at Darwin’s TIO Stadium, is regarded as little more than a formality with the Australians having only conceded 10 points for the entire tournament while Toa Samoa are yet to win a game.
But Cronulla’s Tagataese said tier-two nations no longer saw the big three of Australia, England and New Zealand as unbeatable.
“It grows confidence and encourages a lot of the other players around Australia and New Zealand — Pacific boys — to strive and play for their countries or their parents’ country of birth,” the 30-year-old said.
“I thought it was great that Tonga won. Hopefully they do well and hopefully we can do something special too against the Aussies on Friday.”
Another Samoan, Josh Papalii, said while his team did not watch the Hamilton epic live on TV, there was jubilation when the result came through.
“Hearing that result, the boys were pretty buzzed up about that,” said Papalii.
“Finding out we had Australia on Friday, we were definitely keen to have a good game on Friday and hopefully win.”
According to Samoa’s assistant coach Sean Long, the secret to an upset is not trick shots or surprising the champions with left-field tactics.
“I think quite a few teams have probably tried that in the past,” Long said after a crocodile ‘chose’ Samoa as winners by snaffling a pork chop hanging from their logo over one dangling from the Australia coat of arms.
“We’ve just got to go out there and start enjoying it a little bit more. I think there’s been a lot of lads getting a bit frustrated it’s not been going the right way for us.
“We need to go out there and start enjoying the footy again.
“That gets you in a good place. As long as they’re working hard for each other, that’s the battle really.” –