Rugby League World Cup Preview: Samoa

Another Island nation possessing quite a decent side and one that will be looking to impress and prove what they are capable of. Not an easy group for them, however, but resolve and determination will be two factors the Samoans use to hopefully progress into the next stage of the Rugby League World Cup.

Leeson Ah Mau (St George Illawarra Dragons), David Fa’alogo (Newcastle Knights), Pita Godinet (New Zealand Warriors), Harrison Hansen (Wigan Warriors), Masada Iosefa (Wests Tigers), Faleniu Iosi (Letava Bulldogs), Tim Lafai (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Joseph Leilua (Newcastle Knights), Teofilo Lepou (Marist Saints), Reni Maitua (Parramatta Eels), Penani Manumalealii (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Mose Masoe (Penrith Panthers) Suaia Matagi (New Zealand Warriors), Arden McCarthy (Pointchevallier), Anthony Milford (Canberra Raiders), Junior Moors (Melbourne Storm), Edward Purcell (New Zealand Warriors), Ben Roberts (Parramatta Eels), Iosia Soliola (St Helens), Sauaso Sue (Wests Tigers)

With a host of NRL talent coming off quite good seasons overall, the Samoan side will be largely made up of players that have played in the NRL and at the highest level, in what has the potential to be not only a largely impressive team but a team that can produce some upsets.

To do so requires playing to their abilities and performing well, a task that can often be easier said than done – but with the experience of Harrison Hansen and Reni Maitua in the back-line and the emergence of brilliant young talents like Anthony Milford and Tim Lafai, anything is possible for the Samoans.

With a group of New Zealand, France and PNG, it does not get any easier for the Samoan side but if they’re good enough and can produce some consistent footy over the course of the competition, they may be able to sneak into second spot.

New Zealand will be their biggest challenge in the competition’s group stages but one would expect that Samoa can come very close – if not actually beating – both PNG and France, although not even they will be easy tasks for the Samoans.

Overall, the opportunity is there for the taking for Samoa. If they’re good enough, they can progress to the next round.

Here’s the 17 I’d go with:

1. Anthony Milford
2. Faleniu Iosi
3. Iosia Soliola
4. Joseph Leilua
5. Tim Lafai
6. Ben Roberts
7. Penani Manumalealii
8. David Fa’alogo
9. Pita Godinet
10. Mose Masoe
11. Harrison Hansen
12. Reni Maitua
13. Sauaso Sue

14. Junior Moors
15. Masada Iosefa
16. Suaia Matagi
17. Leeson Ah Mau

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