Samoa national rugby league team

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Badge of Samoa team
Nickname Toa Samoa
Governing body Rugby League Samoa
Region Asia-Pacific
Head coach Matt Parish
Captain Leeson Ah Mau
Most caps Ben Roberts (12)
Home stadium Newport Oval
RLIF ranking 4th
First international
 Western Samoa 34-12  Tokelau
(Rarotonga, Cook Islands; 1986)
Biggest win
 New Caledonia 0 - 76 Samoa 
(Apia, Samoa; 20 October 2004)
Biggest defeat
 Australia 66 - 10 Samoa 
(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.


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[edit]

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.

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[edit]

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.


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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Samoa performing the Siva Tau against France at 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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.

2016 Pacific Rugby League Test[edit]

In May 2016, Samoa took on Tonga in the 2016 Polynesian Cup at Pirtek 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 traditional pacific rivalry between these two continued as they always produced big hits, meters, and try-saving tackles when needed. However this year's test-match saw way more errors than last year's but Samoa prevailed in the end, scoring 18 points again in the 12 point victory over their Pacific 'War rivals'.

Tournament History[edit]

Official Rankings as of May 2017[3]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Same position  Australia
2  New Zealand
3  England
4  Scotland
5  Samoa
6  France
7 Rise  Ireland
8 Fall  Fiji
9 Same position  Wales
10  United States
11 Rise  Tonga
12 Fall  Serbia
13  Canada
14  Italy
15 Same position  Papua New Guinea
16  Russia
17  Jamaica
18  Belgium
19 Rise  Malta
20 Fall  Spain
21 Same position  Lebanon
22  Ukraine
23  Germany
24 Rise  Cook Islands
25 Fall  Czech Republic
26 Same position  Norway
27  Denmark
28  Greece
29  Sweden
30  Netherlands
31 Rise  Niue
32 Fall  South Africa
33 Rise  Hungary
34 Fall  Philippines
35 New entry  Thailand
36 Fall  Chile
37  Vanuatu
38 Rise  El Salvador
39 Fall  Latvia
40 Rise  Solomon Islands
41 New entry  Uruguay
42 Fall  Morocco

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[edit]

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 Zealand 2017 To Be Determined
Total 0 Titles 4/13 13 7 6 0

Four Nations[edit]

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[edit]

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

Current squad[edit]

The Samoa national team squad selected for the end of year test match against Fiji.[4] (caps and points apply for after the test-match finished):

Other Nat. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Pts Club
New Zealand Fullback Peter Mata'utia
Australia Wing Antonio Winterstein (1993-11-28) 28 November 1993 (age 23) 1 0 Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers
New Zealand Wing Joey Leilua (1991-01-30) 30 January 1991 (age 26) 3 10 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Samoa Centre Tim Lafai (1991-05-27) 27 May 1991 (age 26) 6 6 Illawarra colours.svg St. George Illawarra Dragons
New Zealand Centre Ken Maumalo (1994-07-16) 16 July 1994 (age 23) 1 8 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
New Zealand Stand-off Erin Clark (1997-09-06) 6 September 1997 (age 19) 2 0 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
Samoa Halfback Mason Lino (1994-02-04) 4 February 1994 (age 23) 1 0 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
New Zealand Prop Bunty Afoa (1996-08-20) 20 August 1996 (age 20) 1 0 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
Australia Prop James Gavet (1989-10-19) 19 October 1989 (age 27) 1 0 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
New Zealand Prop Sam Kasiano (1990-09-21) 21 September 1990 (age 26) 3 4 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs
New Zealand Prop Sam Lisone (1994-02-19) 19 February 1994 (age 23) 2 0 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors
New Zealand Prop Junior Paulo (1993-11-20) 20 November 1993 (age 23) 2 0 Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders
New Zealand Hooker Pita Godinet (1987-12-21) 21 December 1987 (age 29) 10 16 Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Australia Hooker Kaysa Pritchard (1994-05-05) 5 May 1994 (age 23) 2 0 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
New Zealand Second-row Leeson Ah Mau (Captain) (1989-12-20) 20 December 1989 (age 27) 11 0 Illawarra colours.svg St. George Illawarra Dragons
New Zealand Second-row Raymond Faitala-Mariner (1993-07-26) 26 July 1993 (age 23) 2 0 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs
New Zealand Lock Sauaso Sue (1992-04-20) 20 April 1992 (age 25) 9 4 Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers

All-time records[edit]

Opponent Played Won Drawn Lost % Won Year/s
Total 71 40 0 30 55% 1986-
 American Samoa 1 1 0 0 100% 1994
 Australia 2 0 0 2 0% 2000-2014
Australian Aboriginal Flag.svg Australian Aborigines 3 3 0 0 100% 1990-1994
 Cook Islands 7 5 0 2 71% 1986-2009
 England 1 0 0 1 0% 2014
England England Knights 1 0 0 1 0% 2013
 Fiji 9 4 0 5 44% 1992-2014
 France 4 3 0 1 75% 1995-2013
 Ireland 2 0 0 2 0% 2000-2008
 Lebanon 1 1 0 0 100% 2007
 New Caledonia 1 1 0 0 100% 2004
 New Zealand 3 0 0 3 0% 2010-2014
 Māori 6 2 0 4 33% 1986-2004
 Niue 4 4 0 0 100% 1990-2004
 Papua New Guinea 1 1 0 0 100% 2013
 Rotuma 1 1 0 0 100% 1994
 Scotland 1 1 0 0 100% 2000
 Tokelau 3 2 0 1 66% 1986-2006
 Tonga 17 10 0 8 58% 1986-2015
 United States 1 1 0 0 100% 2007
 Wales 1 1 0 0 100% 1995

Results and fixtures[edit]

Below are the previous 5 matches of the national team. For all past match results, see the team's results page.
8 October 2016
Fiji  20–18  Samoa
7 May 2016
Samoa  18–6  Tonga
Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Attendance: 15,225
2 May 2015
Samoa  18–16  Tonga
Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Attendance: 12,336
9 November 2014
Australia  44–18  Samoa
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Attendance: 18,456
1 November 2014
New Zealand  14–12  Samoa
Toll Stadium, Whangarei
Attendance: 16,912

Notable players and coaches[edit]

Kit suppliers[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ No Cookies | The Courier Mail
  2. ^ NZ v Samoa the new State of Origin? -
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Toa Samoa squad named for Fiji Test". ASIA PACIFIC RUGBY LEAGUE CONFEDERATION. 3 October 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 

External links[edit]