Samoa v Tonga: Teams
Last Updated: 31/10/08 12:08pm
Kaufusi: two NRL Grand Finals
Veteran Tonga prop Antonio Kaufusi insists Friday's clash with Samoa will be one of the biggest games of his career.
Kaufusi has made two NRL grand final appearances with Melbourne, played State of Origin for Queensland and was a part of the New Zealand side that beat Great Britain 33-10 in the 2006 Tri Nations.
But with Pacific Island bragging rights up for grabs, the prop is expecting just as intense an occasion in Penrith on Friday.
"Yeah it will be up there," he said when asked if the Pacific rivalry was the most intense he'd experienced. "To be put in the same pool as Samoa it was always going to be tough.
"We want to go out there and do everyone proud."
Tonga are favourites for Friday's game after beating Samoa at Leeds in the World Cup qualifiers two years ago, but they only just edged past Ireland 22-20 last Monday.
Both sides will have plenty of NRL talent on display and Kaufusi expects a physical encounter, but believes discipline will be the deciding factor.
"I just believe if we be patient and hold the ball and complete then no doubt we will play better (than we did against Ireland)," he said.
"The team that holds the ball more is going to win the game.
"We have to get our team going forward and they will try to do the same. At times it's going to be a *** fight out there and we have to be willing to dig our heels in and go from there.
"We are going out there knowing we have a fight on our hands. At the end of the day we have a job to do and emotion is not going to get the job done."
Tonga: Michael Jennings, Cooper Vuna, Fetuli Talanoa, Etuate Uasisele, Esikeli Tonga, Feleti Mateo, Joel Taufaao, Antonio Kaufusi, Tevita Leo-Latu, Awen Guttenbeil, Lopini Paea (capt), Richard Faaoso, Willie Manu. Interchange: Manase Manuokafoa, Epalahame Lauaki, Sam Moa, Mickey Paea.
Samoa: Smith Samau, Francis Meli, George Carmont, Willie Talau, Matt Utai, Nigel Vagana (capt), Ben Roberts, Kylie Leuluai, Terrence Seuseu, Tony Puletua, David Solomona, Lagi Setu, Harrison Hansen. Interchange: Frank Puletua, David Faiumu, Joseph Paulo, Ali Lauitiiti, Alby Talipeau (one to be omitted).