Coach calls for strong leadership

By Ulimasao Fata ,

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Matt Parish

Matt Parish

Toa Samoa Coach Matt Parish has called for strong leadership from the Toa Samoa’s big men in tonight’s Rugby World Cup clash against the Kiwis.

Parish is expecting nothing less from his heavy forward pack including Captain Frank Pritchard, Josh Papali’i and Junior Paulo.

“I am expecting one thing from these guys; I want them to lead from the front,” he told the Weekend Observer.

The last time Toa Samoa played New Zealand Kiwis was back in 2014 during the Four Nations Tournament and they are looking to better their result this time.

Toa Samoa came close to claiming a historic victory, losing 16-12.

“The control of possession is a big factor in Samoa playing well, and if the team can do that we are looking at similar if not more fortuitous results than that of the 4 Nations tournament from 2014.” 

Parish has chosen a very experienced Ben Roberts and Joseph Paulo pairing in the halves. The coach believes Paulo and Roberts would add more flavor of their experience in controlling the game from the pairing inside the halves.

“Joseph and Ben are forming a good partnership helped mainly through their vast experience from both NRL and Super league careers.”

The Coach added that the team is in good spirits and they are ready to go.

“I had not had a Samoa team that has trained so well three days consecutively,” he said. “The bigger forwards working as a unit both in attack and defense, and both edges working very hard at combinations.

“The team main focus will be a high completion rate and control with and without the ball.”

Coach Parish has also spoken of the contribution of their one week preparation here in Samoa before the Rugby League World Cup.

“The boys always enjoy their time in Samoa and never cease to amaze me at the respect they have for their families and their culture.” 

“While hard work was a priority the down time was used to get back in touch with their roots and enjoy themselves and each other's company.”

Tonight’s game kicks off at 9.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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