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Samoa national rugby league team

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Samoa
Badge of Samoa team
Nickname Toa Samoa
Governing body Rugby League Samoa
Region Asia-Pacific
Head coach Matt Parish
Captain Frank Pritchard
Most caps Ben Roberts (12)
Home stadium Newport Oval
RLIF ranking 4th
First international
23x15px Western Samoa 34-12 23x15px Tokelau
(Rarotonga, Cook Islands; 1986)
Biggest win
23x15px New Caledonia 0 - 76 Samoa 23x15px
(Apia, Samoa; 20 October 2004)
Biggest defeat
23x15px Australia 66 - 10 Samoa 23x15px
(Watford, England; 11 November 2000)
World Cup
Appearances 4 (first time in 1995)
Best result Quarter-finals 2000, 2013

The Samoa rugby league team represents Samoa in rugby league football and has been participating in international competition since 1986. From 1986 to 1997 this team was known as the Western Samoa rugby league team. The team has recently been nicknamed Toa Samoa and is currently run by Rugby League Samoa.

History

Western Samoa has participated in the Pacific Cup (1986–), World Sevens (1994, 1995, 2003), Super League World Nines (1996, 1997), World Cup (since 1995) and Pacific Rim (2004) competitions. Since 1998 the team has been known as Samoa.

Early years

Western Samoa made their debut in the 1986 Pacific Cup.Joe Raymond coached this side to a final where they went down to a strong NZ Maori side.Joe Raymond went on to coach them again in 1988 and would return again to coach them 10years later in 1998 in a one off game against a Samoan team of Samoan resident players at Carlaw park.

Suani and Lyndsay Stowers operated Samoa Rugby League out of their North Shore home in Auckland and from the Richmond Rugby League Club house where Lyndsay ran the canteen. This resilient couple were known to have put a mortgage on their home to assist with funding the thirty (30) men representing Samoa in the Pacific Cup held in Tonga, 1990.[citation needed] This commitment lead to a historical win over the Maori team for the first time and won the 1990 Pacific Cup. Coached by the Richmond Bulldogs Head Coach, Steve Kaiser, the Western Samoan team put Samoan rugby league on the map.

Samoa then won the 1992 Pacific Cup over Tonga in an action filled thriller that went into two (2) overtimes and sent the NZ Rugby League and Polynesian rugby league public into a frenzy. The 1992 Tournament showcased all of NZ Rugby league talent and Australian Rugby league scouts were already booked to witness the 1994 Pacific Cup held in Fiji.

In 1993 Western Samoa were invited to the International Coca-Cola Sevens in Sydney. With Auckland based Samoan players such as Mark Elia, Tony Tuimavave, Tony Tatupu, Faausu Afoa and Des Maea followed by a group of up and coming players such as Matthew TuiSamoa, Lionel Perera, Aleki Maea, Paki Tuimavave, Joe Vagana, Sefo Fuimaono and Peter Lima, the team beat the Canberra Raiders and the Great Brittan International team. Coached by the Richmond Bulldogs' Head Coach Steve Kaiser, this team gave Samoa the status to create the strong foundation Western Samoa Rugby League needed to move forward. Below this strong foundation however was the strength and commitment of two people: Suani and Lyndsay Stowers. These two held together the concept of Samoa Rugby League and without their dream, Samoa RL will not be where it is today.[citation needed]

Steve Kaiser in his 6th year as the Samoan Coach had an array of NZ based quality players for the 1994 Pacific Cup with the likes of Se'e Solomona, Tony Tatupu, the Tuimavave brothers Paki and Tony plus the loyal players of Mike Setefano, Matthew TuiSamoa, Alex Tupou and Mark Faumuina. Henry Suluvale and Rudy David led the contingent of first class players from Canterbury however this arsenal were well contained by the Tongan stars Jim Dymmic, John Hopoate and Albert Fulivae.

Late 1990s

The 1995 Samoan team had the benefit of ex-All Blacks John Schuster and Va'aiga Tuigamala in their backline. When rugby union went openly professional players such as Apollo Perelini and Fereti Tuilagi left rugby league to return to the 15-man game.

Samoa lost the Pacific Cup in 1996.

The 1998 Pacific Cup team saw a new and old talent. Joe Raymond, one of the first Samoan Rugby League Rep coaches returned after coaching Tonga and the NZ Maori, the late Eddie Poching managed the team and the introduction of Francis Meli to Samoan Rugby League and Junior Papalii a loyal American Samoan Representative. Pati Tuimavave from the 1992 squad and Matthew TuiSamoa, the only survivor from 1990 Pacific Cup champion team returned. Samoa battled Tonga for the 1998 Pacific Cup again at Carlaw park and again Samoa regained the Pacific Champions Title.

2000s

The Pacific Cup was taken to Australia's Gold Coast in 2000 where Auckland coach John Ackland took over the reins. Ackland added another dimension to Samoa Rugby League and introduced rising stars, Wayne McDade and Itikeri Sapau-Citran (Schmidt), Tino Brown, Johnny Baker, Louie Talamavoa and bought Matthew TuiSamoa back into the Pacific Cup arena.

2000 Rugby League World Cup campaign

Samoa took on Ireland, Scotland, and the Aotearoa Māori in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup pool stages. They would lose to 'the Irish' in their opening game, but they'd beat NZ Maori, and Scotland in their next two games, sealing a place in the knock-out stages. They would take on Australia in the quarter-final. Unfortunately, they ended their tournament with a thrashing 66-10 defeat (their biggest defeat up to date), sealing an end to a respectable World Cup Campaign.

2008 Rugby League World Cup campaign

Samoa played in the Pacific Pool of the 2008 Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers. They beat the Cook Islands and Fiji, but lost to Tonga. On a points difference, Samoa came in third and had to play USA in the Repecharge Semi Final. Samoa won this match 42-10 and then played Lebanon on 14 November 2007 in the Repecharge Final to see who would take the 10th and final World Cup place. Samoa came out eventual winners of the 10th and final 2008 Rugby League World Cup place beating Lebanon 38-16[1] at the Chris Moyles Stadium, Featherstone.

For the 2008 Rugby League World Cup tournament Samoa's main jersey sponsor was the Samoa International Finance Authority.

Samoa took on Tonga and Ireland in the Tournament's pool stages. They beat their pacific rivals in a traditional tight pacific match-up, but they then lost to 'the Irish' by 34-16. This big losing margin, sent the Samoans into battle against the French in the Tournament's 9th place play-off. Samoa easily won, winning 42-10 and capping off an undesirable World Cup Tournament.

2013 Pacific Rugby League Test

In April 2013, Samoa took on Tonga in the '2013 Pacific Rugby League Test' at Penrith Stadium. The International was created as a World Cup warm-up match. Tonga targeted Samoa's weak defence, and it paid off, thrashing the Toa Samoans by 36-4.

2013 Rugby League World Cup campaign

File:Siva tau 11112013.JPG
Samoa performing the Siva Tau against France in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup

Samoa automatically qualified for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup after participating in the 2008 tournament. They took on New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and France in the pool stage. In their first match they took on 'the Kiwis'. New Zealand were outright favourites, but Samoa never gave up in the match. Down 36-4 in the second half, Samoa gained unexpected momentum as they ran in scoring 5 consecutive tries, leaving them trail 36-24 with 15 minutes to go. In the end NZ would avoid a shocking upset, by scoring a try late to seal the match. Samoa then thrashed 'the Kumuls', and then they beat 'the French' to secure a spot in the Knock-out stage of the Tournament. Samoa would lose their quarter-final against Pacific rivals Fiji, and in doing so, ending their successful 2013 World Cup campaign.

2014 Pacific Rugby League Test

In May 2014, Samoa took on Fiji in the '2014 Pacific Rugby League Test' at Penrith Stadium. The International was created as a qualifier for the final 2014 Four Nations spot. It was also a chance for the Four Nations team (winner of this international) to warm-up before the event kicked off later in the year. Samoa qualified for the 2014 Four Nations with a 32-16 win over their fierce rivals.

2014 Four Nations

In the Four Nations, Samoa was the fourth nation and the underdogs against rugby league's three big heavyweight nations England, New Zealand and Australia. But they proved that they were anything but underdogs, losing to England by six points in a sea-sawing battle, and they were within four minutes of creating rugby league history by beating New Zealand. By the final round, Samoa still had a chance to qualify for the final, making this Four Nations the toughest ever. This Samoan performance added credential to the rugby league game showing that the game is not all about the big three. This performance has now seen a petition begin to see Samoa v New Zealand test matches during Australia's State of Origin series.[2]

2015 Pacific Rugby League Test

In May 2015, Samoa took on Tonga in the 2015 Polynesian Cup at Cbus Super Stadium. The International was part of a triple header which also included the Melanesian Cup, between Papua New Guinea and Fiji, and the Junior Kangaroos against the Junior Kiwis. The game was an absolute thriller with the lead alternating between the teams and the biggest margin throughout the match was only 6 points. However, there was always going to be one winner in the see-saw affair and it was Samoa who upended Tonga to win the Polynesian Cup by 18-16.

2015 Squad

The Samoa national team squad selected for the 2015 Polynesian Cup test-match.[3] (appearances, and points, apply affer the test-match finished):

Other Nat. Pos. Player Age Caps Pts Club
Cook Islands Template:Rlp Dominique Peyroux (1989-01-21) 21 January 1989 (age 27) 3 4 File:New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
New Zealand Template:Rlp Daniel Vidot (1990-02-08) 8 February 1990 (age 26) 10 24 File:Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos
Australia Template:Rlp Pat Mata'utia (1993-11-09) 9 November 1993 (age 22) 1 0 File:Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights
Australia Template:Rlp Joseph Leilua (1991-12-12) 12 December 1991 (age 24) 8 8 File:Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights
Australia Template:Rlp Ricky Leutele (1990-04-10) 10 April 1990 (age 25) 3 0 File:Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla Sharks
Australia Template:Rlp Tautau Moga (1993-12-06) 6 December 1993 (age 22) 2 4 File:North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland Cowboys
New Zealand Template:Rlp Tim Simona (1991-11-20) 20 November 1991 (age 24) 4 6 File:Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers
New Zealand Template:Rlp Carlos Tuimavave (1992-01-10) 10 January 1992 (age 24) 3 4 File:Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights
Australia Template:Rlp Dunamis Lui (1990-02-16) 16 February 1990 (age 26) 4 0 File:Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
New Zealand Template:Rlp Sam Kasiano (1990-09-21) 21 September 1990 (age 25) 1 0 File:Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs
New Zealand Template:Rlp Isaac Liu (1991-04-26) 26 April 1991 (age 24) 5 4 File:Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters
New Zealand Template:Rlp Sam Lisone (1994-02-19) 19 February 1994 (age 22) 1 0 File:New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
Australia Template:Rlp Josh McGuire (1990-03-02) 2 March 1990 (age 25) 6 4 File:Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos
New Zealand Template:Rlp Michael Sio (1993-05-16) 16 May 1993 (age 22) 6 0 File:Mackay Cutters colours.svg Mackay Cutters
New Zealand Template:Rlp Leeson Ah Mau (1989-12-20) 20 December 1989 (age 26) 9 0 File:Illawarra colours.svg St. George Illawarra Dragons
New Zealand Template:Rlp Frank Pritchard (Captain) (1983-11-03) 3 November 1983 (age 32) 4 4 File:Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs
New Zealand Template:Rlp Sauaso Sue (1992-04-20) 20 April 1992 (age 23) 7 4 File:Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers

All-time records

Official Rankings as of May 2015[4]
Rank Change Team Points
1 11px 23x15px New Zealand 949.00
2 11px 23x15px Australia 941.00
3 11px 23x15px England 485.00
4 23x15px Samoa 320.00
5 23x15px France 215.00
6 23x15px Fiji 196.00
7 23x15px Ireland 154.00
8 23x15px Scotland 123.00
9 23x15px Wales 122.00
10 23x15px United States 118.00
11 23x15px Papua New Guinea 113.00
12 23x15px Italy 79.00
13 11px 23x15px Canada 49.00
14 11px 23x15px Serbia 47.00
15 11px 23x15px Tonga 47.00
16 11px 23x15px Russia 45.00
17 11px 23x15px Cook Islands 31.00
18 11px 23x15px Belgium 30.00
19 23x15px Germany 24.00
20 11px 23x15px Lebanon 24.00
21 11px 23x15px Norway 22.00
22 23x15px Ukraine 21.00
23 11px 23x15px Malta 20.00
24 11px 23x15px Greece 19.00
25 11px 23x15px Netherlands 15.00
26 11px 23x15px Spain 14.00
27 11px 23x15px Denmark 13.00
28 11px 23x15px South Africa 12.00
29 11px Template:Country data Jamaica 11.00
30 11px 23x15px Czech Republic 9.00
31 23x15px Sweden 7.00
32 11px 23x15px Hungary 2.00
33 NEW 23x15px Niue 2.00
34 11px 23x15px Latvia 2.00
35 NEW 23x15px Philippines 2.00
36 11px 23x15px Morocco 0.00
Opponent Played Won Drawn Lost % Won Year/s
Total 71 40 0 30 55% 1986-
23x15px American Samoa 1 1 0 0 100% 1994
23x15px Australia 2 0 0 2 0% 2000-2014
22px Australian Aborigines 3 3 0 0 100% 1990-1994
23x15px Cook Islands 7 5 0 2 71% 1986-2009
23x15px England 1 0 0 1 0% 2014
23x15px England Knights 1 0 0 1 0% 2013
23x15px Fiji 9 4 0 5 44% 1992-2014
23x15px France 4 3 0 1 75% 1995-2013
23x15px Ireland 2 0 0 2 0% 2000-2008
23x15px Lebanon 1 1 0 0 100% 2007
23x15px New Caledonia 1 1 0 0 100% 2004
23x15px New Zealand 3 0 0 3 0% 2010-2014
23x15px Māori 6 2 0 4 33% 1986-2004
23x15px Niue 4 4 0 0 100% 1990-2004
23x15px Papua New Guinea 1 1 0 0 100% 2013
 Rotuma 1 1 0 0 100% 1994
23x15px Scotland 1 1 0 0 100% 2000
23x15px Tokelau 36 36 0 0 100% 1986-2006
23x15px Tonga 17 10 0 8 58% 1986-2015
23x15px United States 1 1 0 0 100% 2007
23x15px Wales 1 1 0 0 100% 1995

Notable Players & Coaches

Kit suppliers

Since 2013, Samoa's kits are currently supplied by FI-TA.

See also

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References

External links