Rugby League Samoa hit out at questions about Toa coach
The media Officer of Rugby League, Tuiletufuga Fritz Tuiavii-Savaiinaea, has lashed out at the Samoa Observer in response to questions about calls from former NRL stars for Toa Samoa Coach, Matt Parish, to step down.
The call for Parish to step down was made by league figures, Willie Mason and Willie Tonga.
"(Toa) Samoa has digressed so far it's ridiculous," Mason told the The Horoscope podcast, hosted by former NRL player Justin Horo.
"I know for a fact that they are absolutely filthy with the coach. They need to get rid of Matt Parish and the whole organisation. They've been disgraceful since 2017, and they shouldn't be."
In an attempt to get a response from Rugby League Samoa, the Samoa Observer emailed Tuiletufuga.
But the questions were met with a fiery response, attacking question where "the hell" the reporter comes from.
"Thanks for your enquiry but wanting to know where the hell you from & who gave you those assumptions since R.L.S hasn't made any announcement re-Matt Parish & coaching staff going forward," Tuiletufuga said.
"We will be in process of rebuilding of our brand before coaching staff is in discussion FYI.
"Cook Islands now qualified for RLWC'21 maybe they'll need an extra staff and media manager and leave Matt & RLS out thanks."
Mason and Tonga questioned the ability of Parish to reach the Toa Samoa players.
Toa Samoa have in fact had poor results since well before 2017, with a record of just six wins and a draw in 20 tests under Parish since 2013.
Although according to Mason, the issues with the coach aren’t limited to the field alone:
"If you're an Aussie coming into that camp, you have to respect and act Tongan or Samoan or Fijian. That's what all these other coaches do and I hear he's not doing it.
“I heard he is not buying into the culture and I know for a fact there are some big people behind the scenes trying to get rid of him.”
Tonga elaborated by saying that culture is precisely what brings a team like Toa Samoa together.
“I’ve heard stories that they have prayers in the morning; he doesn’t allow that and he wants to take that stuff away.”
Parish has said he plans to woo Sonny Bill Williams to Samoa’s 2021 Rugby League World Cup campaign now that he has returned to the sport.
Mason and Tonga consider Williams playing for the Toa a possibility, and one that would spark more defections to Samoa like what Mate Ma’a Tonga have experienced in recent years.
"If he declares himself eligible for the 2021 World Cup, you don't think that guys like (Roger) Tuivasa Sheck and (Ken) Maumalo and all that will come back?" Mason said.
"They were willing to go and play when Tonga made their decisions, if Matt Parish wasn't coach, I swear about three or four of them would have turned over and played for Samoa already.
“100% it was because of the coaching and the whole system that they have over there.”