Samoa v Tonga 2017 RLWC

 

 

By Rich Cowley, Date: 31/10/17

Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand

TV Kick-off time: Saturday 4th November 2017 kick-off 7.30pm NZDT

Get ready for fireworks when Mate Ma’a Tonga take on Toa Samoa in battle of the Pacific this Saturday in Hamilton.

These two team just love playing each other. With the introduction of the Pacific Test this battle is the highlight of the April/May representative round each year. To see how close these two teams are we just need to look back over the last few years.

In 2013 Tonga were too good out at Penrith dominating Samoa to win 36 – 4. In 2015 the tables turned with Samoa holding on to defeat Tonga 18 – 16 in a close one on the Gold Coast. In 2016 Samoa caused an upset by beating Tonga 18 – 6 at Parramatta.

In 2017 the two rivals didn’t play each other during the Pacific Test with Tonga getting home against Fiji 26 – 24 in the first match of the double header at Campbelltown. Samoa took on England in the 2nd game of the double header at Campbelltown. That day the English were just a level above the Samoan’s running out 30 – 10 winners.

On Saturday we will see the two strongest sides that Mate Ma’a Tonga and Toa Samoa have ever fielded at representative level. Both teams are full of NRL and Super League talent and this game will go down to the wire.

With Tonga running over Scotland last week in Cairns they have already secured themselves a place in the quarter finals. For them a win will set them up for a top of the table clash against New Zealand the following weekend. This match could determine if they have an easy or hard run into the semi-finals. Tonga will be out to win this game and fire a warning shot at New Zealand.

The Tongans have made several changes to their side with the major one being Solomone Kata coming in for fellow Tongan-born centre Konrad Hurrell. David Fusitu’a replaces former Warriors teammate Manu Vatuvai on the wing.

Samoa put in a great first half against New Zealand last week but dropped off after half time letting the Kiwis run away with the match 38 – 8 in Auckland. You will see a different Samoan team this weekend. If they win Samoa will secure a quarter finals place and regain much needed confidence after last week’s loss. If they lose it will come down to their last game of the tournament against Scotland to see if they continue on into the quarter-finals.

Toa Samoa have been forced to make a change to their team to take on Mate Ma’a Tonga with Newcastle Knights back Peter Mata’utia having returned to Australia today with a quad injury. Cronulla Sharks’ Ricky Leutele comes onto the wing for Mata’utia in the Samoan side.

So on Saturday get the popcorn ready and sit back and watch as the crowd at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton gets the “booooooooom” call going every time a Samoa or Tonga forward carts the ball towards the opposition. The winner will most likely avoid an unwanted quarter-final clash with Australia. This is going to be a Pacific classic and will be one of the highlights of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

 

Samoa 2017 RLWC Team:

1 Young TONUMAIPEA
2 Ricky LEUTELE
3 Timoteo LAFAI
4 Joseph LEILUA
5 Ken MAUMALO
6 Joseph PAULO
7 Ben ROBERTS
8 Junior PAULO
9 Jazz TEVAGA
10 Herman ESE’ESE
11 Joshua PAPALII
12 Frank PRITCHARD (c)
13 Leeson AH MAU
14 Fa’amanu BROWN
15 Zane MUSGROVE
16 Sam LISONE
17 Bunty AFOA

18 Sam TAGATAESE
19 Frank WINTERSTEIN
20 Jarome LUAI
21 Matthew WRIGHT

 

Tonga 2017 RLWC Team:

1 William HOPOATE
2 Daniel TUPOU
3 Michael JENNINGS
4 Solomone KATA
5 David FUSITU’A
6 Tuimoala LOLOHEA
7 Mafoa’aeata HINGANO
8 Andrew FIFITA
9 Siliva HAVILI
10 Sio Siua TAUKEIAHO
11 Manu MA’U
12 Sika MANU (c)
13 Jason TAUMALOLO
14 Sione KATOA
15 Sam MOA
16 Peni TEREPO
17 Ben MURDOCH-MASILA

18 Ukuma TA’AI
19 Manu VATUVEI
20 Konrad HURRELL
21 Samisoni LANGI

 

 

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