Samoa have the belief to win the World Cup, insists Jarome Luai

Josh McAllister
Jarome Luai, Samoa. News Images

Samoa star Jarome Luai says his team have the belief that they can go all the way and upset the odds to win the World Cup final against Australia at Old Trafford.

Matt Parish’s side knocked out hosts England 27-26 in the semi-finals at the Emirates Stadium to set up a mouth-watering clash against the Kangaroos on Saturday.

Samoa made history by becoming the first tier two nation to make a World Cup final. But they face tough competition in the back-to-back champions, who defeated New Zealand 16-14 at Elland Road last week.

The side opened their tournament with a somewhat-shock 60-6 defeat to England in Newcastle, but later got their revenge over Shaun Wane’s side, while also knocking out Tonga in the quarter-finals in Warrington.

“Belief has got us this far, not many people did believe in us,” Luai said. “But within our group, there’s plenty of that. So we’re always going to believe we can shake the comp up. We’re here right now, so why not win it?”

Previewing their game plan against Mal Meninga’s Australia, the Penrith half-back continued: “We need to focus on the same thing we’ve focussed on every week.

“We have a great team with a lot of talent within our side. But footy is a simple game, and if you’re not completing high, it’s going to be pretty tough to win games. That’s what our main focus is.”

Jarome Luai versus Nathan Cleary

Luai, 25, will come up against Penrith team-mate and half-back partner Nathan Cleary, who is in his first tournament with Australia, having made his debut against Scotland.NRL,

Cleary has been given the nod over international team-mate Daly Cherry-Evans so far this World Cup.

The pair grew up in the same junior league as opponents before linking up together at the Panthers, where they have won back-to-back NRL Premierships.

““It’s going to be awesome,” Luai said on the prospect of facing Cleary.

“We’re competitors through and through. It’s going to be a great battle against one of my boys. But out there, there’s no friends on the field. There’s only brothers and enemies. I can’t wait to get against him.”

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