Rugby League World Cup: Samoa v Fiji preview
Last Updated: 16/11/13 1:35pm
Samoa take on Pacific Island rivals Fiji in Sunday's World Cup quarter-final in Warrington aiming to make the last four for the first time.
Fiji are bidding to repeat their efforts of 2008 and make the final four again, with a clash against either Australia or USA up for grabs, while there is also the added bonus of a spot in the 2014 Four Nations for the winner.
Samoa go into the game with the momentum of a two-match winning run, the latest a 22-6 victory over France, while Fiji have lost their last two matches, although they will take heart from a battling 34-12 defeat to hosts England last time.
In team news, Samoa are without the suspended Leeson Ah Mau following their win in France, but Sauaso Sue is available after an International Appeals Tribunal lifted his one-match suspension for tripping French player William Barthau.
For Fiji, Korbin Sims is suspended are being given a two-match ban for a dangerous tackle during the loss to England.
Samoa coach Matt Parish is expecting a physical battle at The Halliwell Jones Stadium, saying: "It will be certainly very physical.
"It's a spot in the final four, also whoever wins this will be in next year's Four Nations which is massive for either country who can do it for the development of rugby league in that country.
"It's going to be a massive game and something that we're all really looking forward to."
Fiji ace Waisale Ligani Naiqama is delighted to reach the last eight and wants to push on, telling the Rugby League World Cup official website: "It is really pleasing for us to get through to the quarter-finals.
"We said from the start that we wanted to get past the group stage of the competition so we are really happy with where we are at the moment and we want to continue on and reach the semi-finals.
"We took a lot of positives away from the England game. The coach (Rick Stone ) was happy, particularly with the way we played in the first half, and the way we finished the game. For 65 minutes we played really well so we just need to work on that 15 minutes when we turned off and that will put us in good stead for this week.
"We have had a heavy week in training, doing double sessions, because we want to get as much work done as possible as we know Samoa will bring a really powerful game to us."
Samoa's 19-man squad: David Fa'alogo, Pita Godinet, Faleniu Iosi, Tim Lafai, Joseph Leilua, Penani Manumalealii, Mose Masoe, Sauia Matagi, Anthony Milford, Junior Moors, Tony Puletua, Ben Roberts, Junior Sa'u, Michael Sio, Iosia Soliola, Sauaso Sue, Mark Taufua, Daniel Vidot, Antonio Winterstein.
Fiji's 19-man squad: Peni Botiki, Jayson Bukuya, Petero Civoniceva, Kane Evans, Aaron Groom, Ilisavani Jegesa, Marika Koroibete, Apisai Koroisau, Daryl Millard, Ryan Millard, Kevin Naiqama, Waisale Ligani Naiqama, Kaliova Nauqe, Alipate Noilea, Tikiko Noke, Vitale Junior Roqica, Ashton Sims, Korbin Sims, Tariq Sims, James Storer, Akuila Uate, Eloni Vunakece, Sisa Ledua Waqa, Semi Radradra Turagasoli Waqavatu.
2013 Rugby League World Cup
This years' Rugby League World Cup has been hailed as the greatest of all time by the organisers. Australia claimed their 10th title by beating New Zealand in the final in front of a record attendance.
RFL chief executive Nigel Wood is confident the sport will capitalise on the success of hosting the World Cup.
We take a look back at the highs and occasional low from probably the best World Cup to date.
- Hetherington wants more cups
- Wallace commits to Scotland
- Widdop left gutted by defeat
- Tomkins devastated by defeat
- Burgess defends brother George
- Johnson expresses relief
- Kangaroos leap into final
- Sheens tribute to Civoniceva
- Australia v Fiji: Teams
- Burgess out to deny Williams
- Aussies wary of physical Fiji
- Foran highlights main threats
- Two video refs for World Cup
- Civoniceva gets Wembley buzz
- Fiji too strong for Samoa
- England disappoint McNamara
- England stroll into semis
- Sheens retains Slater hope
- Australia put USA to the sword
- Williams injury played down
- Kiwis stroll into semis
- Sheens: Slater has learned
- Brough set for toughest test
- Scots ready for biggest task
- Kiwis wary of Henderson
- Farah dropped for US clash