Known by most as the man who scored a hat-trick for Cronulla against the Raiders in the 2008 semi -finals, Misi Taulapapa has continued his try scoring exploits in England. Now playing for the Sheffield Eagles, Taulapapa scored a try in the 2012 Championship game helping his side to claim the title.
Having represented Samoa in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup Misi will be looking to re-join the squad as they take arguably their greatest ever side into the 2013 World Cup Finals at the end of the year. Chock full of NRL talent Samoa will be looking to push the top 3 sides and if Taulapapa continues his good form there’s every chance he’ll come into consideration for the squad.
Currently sitting atop the Championship table, having advanced to the 6th round of the Challenge Cup and about to play in the Northern Rail Cup Quarter Final, it looks like another successful season for Taulapapa and the Eagles. Buoyed on by their record 112-6 win in the 3rd round of the Challenge Cup, we may very well see Misi lifting that Championship Cup for a 2nd straight season.
We were able to have a quick chat with Misi to discuss the current scandal at the Sharks, the 2013 World Cup as well and much more:
Misi, first up the obvious question, as a former Sharks player how do you feel right now seeing what the club, its players and fans are going through? Can they get through this?
MT: It was a shock to me. In all my years at the Sharks I’ve never come across nor seen allegations like these. It’s tough times but I’m sure they will get through it.
For those who only know you from your time at the Sharks, what have you been doing since you left the club?
MT: After I left the Sharks I was signed to Sheffield Eagles in the UK, it’s my fourth season playing here.
What are some of your career highlights in rugby league? Any intention to return to Australia?
MT: A few that come to mind. Making my debut for NZ Warriors. 2008 season with the Sharks – which lead to being one game away from a grand final. Making the Samoan team for the world cup. Winning a championship with the Sheffield Eagles. I would love to return to Oz if the right opportunity arose.
You signed for the Gateshead Thunder in England but due to their financial difficulties you signed for the Sheffield Eagles where you became captain, fair to say things worked out well?
MT: Things happen for a reason I believe, I think things have turned out for the better. Sheffield Eagles is a great club and Mark Aston is a great coach
Are you looking to retain your spot on the wing for Samoa at season’s end? Samoa could very well field perhaps their strongest side ever at the competition, how do you predict they will go?
MT: It would be great to retain my spot on the wing for Samoa, however with all the up and coming talent coming though the NRL we will just have to wait and see. I think Samoa will do better than the last world cup and field a very strong team as there are a number of NRL players that have pledged to play for Samoa over NZ and AU.
Have you fully healed from the broken leg sustained in 2010? What motivated you to fight back to full fitness?
MT: Yes I have fully healed. It was a long process but love for the game pulled me through.
You’ve played with and against some of the best players of the modern era, who was the best?
MT: That’s a hard one! There are a lot of great players but a few that come to mind are Brett Kimmorley, Billy Slater, Paul Gallen, Darren Lockyer and Ruben Wiki
What’s the plan for 2013? Can the club retain the Championship won in 2012? Can anything top scoring a try on grand final day?
MT: We are definitely going to fight for the Championship title we won in 2012. Nothing beats scoring a try in a grand final, except scoring the winning one!
Taulapapa will next be in action this Friday as The Eagles host the Dewsbury Rams. Taulapapa will have to be at his very best to beat incumbent Samoan wingers Faifai Loa and Vidot to a wing spot at season’s end for Samoa. Follow him on twitter @autodox
You can read more of Dan Nichols work at: MonstaSport.com
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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