Samoa head coach Matt Parish has named his 19 man squad to play Samoa at MS3 Craven Park on Monday (20:00)
Mark Taufua wants to prove to the world Samoa’s international pedigree by progressing through Rugby League World Cup 2013 further than anyone expected, starting with their second Group B game against Papua New Guinea at Craven Park, Hull, on Monday (8.00pm).
Samoa put in a strong performance against defending world champions New Zealand in their first match of the tournament, scoring five tries against the Kiwis, and Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks forward Taufua wants more of the same, both on and off the field.
“It is really good over here,” said Taufua. “For a lot of us it is our first time in England and we are all really enjoying it. In a tournament like this, every game is like a semi-final and hopefully we can stay a bit longer than what a lot of people have had us down for.
“Our training has been positive since the New Zealand game. We went out there against them and wanted to be competitive against the world champions.
“We thought our performance was good in the end. We had a slow start but the Warrington crowd really got behind us and helped lift our game.
“The crowds and the atmosphere have been amazing, the fans at Warrington really got behind the team and it was a great place to play.”
Taufua is adamant that his side remain focused on the single game in front of them as they look to reach RLWC2013’s latter rounds, and acknowledges that first his side will have to overcome a strong PNG outfit, who narrowly lost to France in their opening game.
“We literally just want to focus on our next game,” said Taufua. “We take it one game at a time, and now that the New Zealand game is over and done with and out of the way, we can concentrate on our next game, a tough match against PNG.
“We are looking at the whole PNG team as a threat because they will be hurting after that really close game against France.
“They will play with lots of enthusiasm and it will definitely give them an edge having played at Craven Park before. They know the ground and the pitch so we will have to get to know the stadium when it comes to the captain’s run.”
Tickets are still available for the PNG v Samoa RLWC2013 Group B match at Craven Park, Hull, on Monday (8.00pm) and are priced from as little as £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. To purchase your ticket, please either visit www.eticketing.co.uk/rlwc/ or call our 24-hour ticketing hotline on 08448472013.
Samoan team to take on PNG
Leeson Ah Mau