World Cup Preview: Samoa v Fiji

Waisale Naiqama is not ready for Fiji’s Rugby League World Cup 2013 dream to end just yet, and believes his team has what it takes to go beyond the tournament’s quarter-finals as they take on Samoa.

The Penrith Panthers star was pleased with the performance the Bati put up against England, despite losing 34-12, and knows that his side face another tough test at the Halliwell Jones, Warrington on Sunday.

“It is really pleasing for us to get through to the quarter-finals, said Naiqama. “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 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.”

In the Samoa camp, utility Pita Godinet is eyeing further improvement from his team, with the New Zealand Warriors player aware of how hard knock-out rugby league is.

“I think that throughout the tournament we have improved a lot as a team,” said Godinet. “We had a tough opening game against New Zealand but we fought hard and came away from that match with a lot of confidence.

“That self-belief served us well against Papua New Guinea and France but we know that there is still room for improvement, which we are aiming to keep doing.

Fiji are a very, very talented team, they have good players available and will be a difficult obstacle.”

Samoa: David Fa’alogo (Newcastle Knights), Pita Godinet (New Zealand Warriors), Faleniu Iosi (Letava Bulldogs), Tim Lafai (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Joseph Leilua (Newcastle Knights), Penani Manumeasili (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Mose Masoe (Penrith Panthers), Suaia Matagi (New Zealand Warriors), Anthony Milford (Canberra Raiders), Junior Moors (Melbourne Storm), Tony Puletua (St Helens), Ben Roberts (Parramatta Eels), Junior Sa’u (Melbourne Storm), Michael Sio (New Zealand Warriors), Iosia Soliola (St Helens), Sauaso Sue (Wests Tigers), Mark Taufua (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Daniel Vidot (St George Illawarra Dragons), Antonio Winterstein (Brisbane Broncos).

Fiji: Peni Botiki (Saru Dragons), Jayson Bukuya (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Petero Civoniceva (Redcliffe Dolphins), Kane Evans (Sydney Roosters), Aaron Groom (Asquith Magpies), Marika Koroibete (Wests Tigers), Apisai Koroisau (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Daryl Millard (Catalans Dragons), Ryan Millard (Burwood United), Kevin Naiqama (Newcastle Knights), Waisale Naiqama (Penrith Panthers), Vitale Junior (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Ashton Sims (North Queensland Cowboys), Tariq Sims (North Queensland Cowboys), James Storer (Collegians Illawarra), Akuila Uate (Newcastle Knights), Eloni Tui Michael Vunakece (Wyong Roos), Sisa Ledua (Melbourne Storm), Semi Radradra Turagasoli Waqavatu (Parramatta Eels).

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