Samoa
Badge of Samoa team
Team information
NicknameToa Samoa
Governing bodyRugby League Samoa
RegionAsia-Pacific
Head coachMatt Parish
CaptainAnthony Milford
Most capsLeeson Ah Mau (16)
Top try-scorersGeorge Carmont (7)
Antonio Winterstein (7)
Top point-scorerAnthony Milford (38)
IRL ranking7th
Team results
First game
 Western Samoa 34–12 Tokelau 
(Rarotonga, Cook Islands; 1986)
Biggest win
 New Caledonia 0–76 Samoa 
(Auckland, New Zealand; 20 October 2004)
Biggest defeat
 New Zealand Māori 70–10 Samoa 
(Auckland, New Zealand; 21 October 2004)
World Cup
Appearances5 (first time in 1995)
Best resultQuarterfinals (2000, 2013, 2017)

The Samoa national rugby league team represents Samoa in rugby league football and has been participating in international competition since 1986. Known as Western Samoa prior to 1997, the team is administered by Rugby League Samoa and are nicknamed Toa Samoa (English: Samoan Warriors).

Current roster

The Samoa national team for the 25 June 2022 game against Cook Islands .[1]

Statistics for Samoa and the players' NRL club records (up to 21 June 2022) drawn from the Rugby League Project.

Player Age Position Samoa Club (2022) NRL Club
Caps T G P M T G P
Charlie Staines 21 Fullback 0 0 0 0
Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg
Penrith Panthers
32 22 88
Taylan May 20 Wing 0 0 0 0
Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg
Penrith Panthers
14 0 0
Izack Tago 19 Centre 0 0 0 0
Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg
Penrith Panthers
21 10 40
Jaxson Paulo 22 Centre 0 0 0 0
South Sydney colours.svg
South Sydney Rabbitohs
34 16 64
David Nofoaluma 28 Wing 2 0 0 0
Wests Tigers colours.svg
Wests Tigers
173 93 372
Chanel Harris-Tavita 22 Five-eighth 1 1 0 4
New Zealand colours.svg
New Zealand Warriors
48 6 51 127
Anthony Milford 27 Halfback 7 2 10 28
Newcastle colours.svg
Newcastle Knights
200 70 36 367
Martin Taupau 32 Prop 3 0 0 0
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
213 19 76
Jazz Tevaga 26 Hooker 4 1 0 4
New Zealand colours.svg
New Zealand Warriors
104 7 28
Francis Molo 27 Prop 0 0 0 0
St. George Illawarra colours.svg
St. George Illawarra Dragons
90 7 28
Josh Schuster 20 Second-row 0 0 0 0
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
28 3 12
Jaydn Su'a 24 Second-row 1 0 0 0
St. George Illawarra colours.svg
St. George Illawarra Dragons
91 12 48
Josh Aloiai 26 Lock 2 1 0 4
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
116 14 56
Fa'amanu Brown 27 Hooker 5 0 3 0
Wests Tigers colours.svg
Wests Tigers
40 6 24
Keenan Palasia 25 Prop 0 0 0 0
Brisbane colours.svg
Brisbane Broncos
25 1 4
Spencer Leniu 21 Prop 0 0 0 0
Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg
Penrith Panthers
51 5 20
Bunty Afoa 25 Prop 7 0 0 0
New Zealand colours.svg
New Zealand Warriors
99 7 28
Mat Feagai 21 Wing 0 0 0 0
St. George Illawarra colours.svg
St. George Illawarra Dragons
18 7 28
Ronald Volkman 19 Five-eighth 0 0 0 0
New Zealand colours.svg
New Zealand Warriors
1 0 0
Toafofoa Sipley 27 Prop 0 0 0 0
Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
47 3 12

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.

Early years

Official rankings as of 9 July 2022
Rank Change Team Pts %
1 Steady  New Zealand 100.00
2 Increase 1  Tonga 68.00
3 Decrease 1  England 64.00
4 Steady  Australia 52.00
5 Steady  Papua New Guinea 36.00
6 Steady  Fiji 29.00
7 Increase 1  Samoa 17.00
8 Increase 1  Serbia 17.00
9 Decrease 2  France 16.00
10 Increase 5  Malta 14.00
11 Decrease 1  Greece 13.00
12 Steady  Ireland 11.00
13 Steady  Lebanon 11.00
14 Steady  Netherlands 11.00
15 Decrease 4  Scotland 11.00
16 Increase 7  Wales 8.00
17 Decrease 1  Italy 8.00
18 Decrease 1  Czech Republic 8.00
19 Steady  Turkey 7.00
20 Increase 2  Cook Islands 6.04
21 Decrease 3  Jamaica 6.03
22 Decrease 1  Poland 6.02
23 Decrease 3  Norway 5.00
24 Increase 2  Philippines 5.00
25 Increase 4  Germany 4.29
26 Decrease 1  Ukraine 4.00
27 Decrease 3  United States 3.81
28 Decrease 1  Nigeria 3.00
29 Decrease 1  Spain 3.00
30 Increase 8  South Africa 2.86
31 Steady  Ghana 2.85
32 Increase 11  Chile 2.80
33 Steady  Morocco 2.00
34 Decrease 2  Sweden 1.79
35 Increase 2  Hungary 1.72
36 Decrease 2  Cameroon 1.66
37 Decrease 2  Russia 1.61
38 Decrease 2  Canada 1.31
39 Decrease 2  Solomon Islands 1.21
40 Increase 2  Brazil 1.06
41 Decrease 2  Bulgaria 1.04
42 Decrease 2  Vanuatu 1.03
43 Increase 1  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.02
44 New entry  Montenegro 1.00
45 Steady  Colombia 0.50
46 Steady  Denmark 0.10
47 Decrease 6  Belgium 0.05
48 Decrease 1  Latvia 0.01
Complete rankings at INTRL.SPORT

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 10 years later in 1998 in a one-off game against a Samoan team of Samoan resident players at Carlaw park.

William John "Swanny" Stowers and his wife 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 a win in 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 Britain 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: Swanny 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 sixth 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 Dymock, John Hopoate, Solomon Haumono and Albert Fulivai.

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 in selecting rising stars Itikeri Samani a Canberra and Goulburn Stockmen Junior who previously represented American Samoa and Wayne McDade from the New Zealand Warriors while bringing back Matthew TuiSamoa into the Pacific Cup arena.

2000 Rugby League World Cup campaign

Main article: 2000 Rugby League World Cup

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

Main article: 2008 Rugby League World Cup

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 at the Chris Moyles Stadium, Featherstone.[2]

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 20–12, 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

Main article: Pacific Rugby League International § 2013 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.

Matt Parish era (2013– Present )

Samoa performing the Siva Tau against France at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup
Samoa performing the Siva Tau against France at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup

Australian Matt Parish was appointed head coach ahead of the 2013 World Cup.[3] In the group stage, Samoa lost to New Zealand 42–24, and defeated Papua New Guinea 38–4 and France 22–6. They lost the quarter-final to Fiji 22–4.

In May 2014, Samoa defeated Fiji 32–16 in a one-off Test match to qualify for the 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. An annual series against New Zealand was proposed to run likewise to Australia's State of Origin series.[4]

In May 2015, Samoa took on Tonga. The game was an absolute thriller with the lead alternating between the teams and the biggest margin throughout the match was only 6 points. Samoa won 18–16. The following year, in May 2016, Samoa defeated Tonga 18–12.

Samoa were winless at the 2017 World Cup, losing 38–8 to New Zealand and 32–18 Tonga, and drawing 14–14 with Scotland. However, due to the tournament structure, they advanced to the knock-out stage thanks to the draw.[5][6] In the quarter-final, Samoa lost 46–0 to defending champions Australia.[7] Former rugby league players Reni Maitua and Willie Mason were heavily critical of the team after the tournament, claiming the players were staying up late at night and had no respect for coach Matt Parish.[8]

In February 2021, it was reported that 34 current and former Samoan players had co-signed a letter to Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi requesting for Parish to be removed as coach, citing a lack of professionalism and success. Parish responded by claiming the players were coerced to sign the letter.[9] In May 2021, Andrew Johns, Matthew Johns and Sonny Bill Williams voiced interest to jointly coach Samoa at the 2021 World Cup.[10][11] Rugby League Samoa affirmed Parish would remain as head coach for the tournament in a statement.[12] NRL.com noted that Samoa has approximately 85 NRL players to choose from in 2021, more than is available for the successful Tongan (60) and Fijian (40) teams,[13] however, according to reports, there are some players not willing to represent Samoa under the current coaching set-up.[14][15]

Tournament History

The following tournaments is a list of notable international competitions that Samoa has been competing in since their existence in 1986.

A red box around the year indicates tournaments played within Samoa

World Cup

World Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
United Kingdom 1995 Group Stage 5/10 2 1 1 0
United KingdomIrelandFrance 2000 Quarter-finals 8/16 4 2 2 0
Australia 2008 Group Stage 9/10 3 2 1 0
EnglandWales 2013 Quarter-finals 5/14 4 2 2 0
AustraliaNew ZealandPapua New Guinea 2017 Quarter-finals 8/14 4 0 3 1
England2021 0/0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 Titles 4/13 17 7 9 1

Four Nations

Four Nations record
Year Round Position GP W L D
EnglandFrance 2009 Not Invited
AustraliaNew Zealand 2010 Failed to Qualify
EnglandWales 2011 Not Invited
AustraliaNew Zealand 2014 Fourth Place 4/4 3 0 3 0
England 2016 Not Invited
Total 0 Titles 1/5 3 0 3 0

Pacific Cup

Pacific Cup record
Year Round Position GP W L D
Cook Islands 1986 Second Place 2/6 5 3 2 0
Samoa 1988 Second Place 2/6 4 3 1 0
Tonga 1990 Champions 1/8 5 5 0 0
New Zealand 1992 Champions 1/10 6 6 0 0
Fiji 1994 Third Place 3/10 6 5 1 0
New Zealand 1997 Not Invited
New Zealand 2004 Group Stage 5/6 2 1 1 0
New Zealand 2006 Group Stage 6/6 3 0 3 0
Papua New Guinea 2009 Quarter-finals 5/5 1 0 1 0
Total 2 Titles 8/12 32 23 9 0


All-time record

Below is the head-to-head record for the Samoa as of 24 December 2020.[16][17]

Opponent Played Won Drawn Lost % Won Year/s For Aga Diff
 American Samoa 1 1 0 0 100% 1994 30 10 +20
 Australia 3 0 0 3 0% 2000–2014 28 156 –128
Australian Aboriginal Flag.svg
Australian Aborigines
2 2 0 0 100% 1992–1994 73 48 +25
 Cook Islands 6 4 0 2 66.67% 1986–2009 240 84 +156
 England 3 0 0 3 0% 2006–2017 50 100 –50
 Fiji 12 4 0 8 33.33% 1992–2019 184 274 –90
 France 4 3 0 1 75% 1995–2013 126 54 +72
 Ireland 2 0 0 2 0% 2000–2008 32 64 –32
 Lebanon 1 1 0 0 100% 2007 38 16 +22
 New Caledonia 1 1 0 0 100% 2010–2017 76 0 +76
 New Zealand 4 0 0 4 0% 2004 50 144 –94
 Māori 4 1 0 3 25% 1986–2004 53 148 –95
 Niue 2 2 0 0 100% 1992–2004 77 46 +31
 Papua New Guinea 2 2 0 0 100% 2013–2019 62 10 +52
Rotuma Rotuma 1 1 0 0 100% 1994 50 14 +36
 Scotland 2 1 1 0 50% 2000–2017 34 26 +8
 Tokelau 2 1 0 1 50% 1986–2006 62 46 +16
 Tonga 19 8 1 10 42.11% 1986–2018 375 392 –17
 United States 3 1 0 2 66.67% 2007–2014 88 38 +50
 Wales 1 0 0 1 0% 1995 10 22 –12
Total 75 34 2 39 45.33% 1986–2019 1738 1692 +46

Results and fixtures

Below are the previous 5 matches of the national team. For all past match results, see the team's results page.
2 November 2019
Samoa  18–44  Fiji
22 June 2019
Papua New Guinea  6–24  Samoa
23 June 2018
Tonga  38–22  Samoa
17 November 2017
Australia  46–0  Samoa
11 November 2017
Scotland  14–14  Samoa

2021 Player Pool

NRL
Super League

Notable players and coaches

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Kit

Samoa's kit consists of a blue jersey with usually a white V on the chest, paired with blue shorts and socks.

Kit suppliers

Since 2021, Samoa's kits are currently supplied by Classic Sportswear. Former suppliers were FI-TA (2013-2021), SAS (2006–2013), SportM (1995–2000), Zeus (1992–1995) and Adidas (1990–1992).

Sponsors

The current sponsors are Investsamoa.ws and Vailima. Former sponsors were DB Bitter (1992–1996), Yazaki (Rugby League World Cup 2000) and SIFA.WS (2008–2015).

See also

References

  1. ^ "2022 Representative Round Teams". NRL. 21 June 2022. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  2. ^ "Samoa beats Lebanon to be last team in league world cup". Courier Mail. 14 November 2007. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  3. ^ "Matt Parish appointed as head coach of Samoa for the World Cup". Sky Sports. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  4. ^ Voss, Andrew (6 November 2014). "NZ v Samoa the new State of Origin?". NRL.com. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Samoa draw with Scotland to advance in Rugby League World Cup". stuff.co.nz. 11 November 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  6. ^ Mascord, Steve (13 November 2017). "Rugby League World Cup: Ireland miss quarters while winless Samoa go through". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  7. ^ Davidson, John (17 November 2017). "Valentine Holmes scores five tries as Australia trounce Samoa in Rugby League World Cup". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  8. ^ "NRL grand final to be played at SCG in 2020, Samoan players slammed". Fox Sports. 23 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Angry coach lashes out as Samoan players revolt". Daily Telegraph. 10 February 2021. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  10. ^ Otto, Tyson (3 May 2021). "Matthew Johns' incredible reveal for plan with brother Andrew". news.com.au. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  11. ^ Brunsdon, Simon (3 May 2021). "Matty Johns reveals plan to coach Samoa with brother Joey and SBW". Fox Sports. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  12. ^ Pengilly, Adam (3 May 2021). "Samoa shut down talk of coaching dream team featuring SBW and Johns brothers". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  13. ^ Walter, Brad (4 May 2021). "Parish open to Johns brothers, SBW joining Samoa coaching team". NRL.com. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  14. ^ McMurty, Andrew (5 May 2021). "Samoa reject Johns brothers coaching offer despite superstar offers". news.com.au. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  15. ^ Clarke, George (12 May 2021). "Fairytale that became a nightmare: Why NRL superstars lost faith in Samoan rugby league". Fox Sports. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  16. ^ "Samoa head-to-head". rugbyleagueplanet. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  17. ^ "International Rugby League match marks Samoa Independence Day at Aloha Stadium". Samoa News. Retrieved 25 April 2021.