Parish praise for Soliola

Samoa coach Matt Parish heaped praise on St Helens back-rower Sia Soliola following their 38-4 win over Papua New Guinea on Monday.

Soliola led by example as Samoa registered their first victory of the tournament, despite going in to the game with just 18 available players in their squad.

They have since been permitted to call up Tony Puletua to their squad, although it has now been confirmed that Frank Winterstein, Harrison Hansen and Rene Maitua are all out for the rest of the tournament.

Parish said: “Sia’s efforts were fantastic. I asked for special efforts from the senior players, and I thought Sia’s efforts were outstanding.

“He doesn’t like talking about himself too much, but his efforts in the game, in training and the off field are a big reason why we’re going so well.”

Parish also praised full-back Anthony Milford, who put in another impressive performance at full back.

He added: “He can play wherever he wants that kid.

“But he’s suited to full back, and he wants to play full-back, so that’s where we’ll play him.

“On the whole, I thought our first half performance was as good as any other team in the competition so far.”

Samoa have all but secured a place in the quarter-finals following the win, and travel to play France on Monday.

The winner of that match is likely to play the loser of the England v Fiji game in the quarter-finals, and vice-versa.

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