New Zealand Maori And Samoa Name Strong Sides

It has been a game thats been on my radar for months now. Englands first big test down under since their humiliating 2008 Rugby League World Cup disaster.

While England goes about talking itself up with the same old lines about just lacking a bit of confidence and Australia just being a bit lucky, for 30 years, there is no doubt they have completely over looked their game against the New Zealand Maori.

England have not been in Australia for all that long, jet lag will be a factor. The flight from England to New Zealand isn’t a fun one and you have to wonder how the English coaching staff could have possibly prepared for a game that is going to be played so quickly after they have touched down.

To make matters worse for the Poms, the New Zealand Maori have named a bloody good lineup, with a number of in form players in the side:

New Zealand Maori Official Lineup
1. Kevin Locke (Warriors)
2. Sandor Earl (Penrith)
3. Timana Tahu (Parramatta)
4. Clinton Toopi (Gold Coast)
5. Arana Taumata (North Queensland)
6. Rangi Chase (Castleford)
7. Jeremy Smith (Wakefield)
8. Willie Heta (Otahuhu)
9. Aaron Heremaia (Warriors)
10. Weller Hauraki (Crusaders)
11. Justin Horo (Parramatta)
12. Bodene Thompson (Gold Coast)
13. Kevin Proctor (Melbourne)

14. James Tamou (North Queensland)
15. Sam McKendry (Penrith)
16. Russell Packer (Warriors)
17. TBA

The New Zealand Kiwi’s could have named many of these players in their side and they would not have been out of place.

Locke, Earl, Heremaia, Horo and Sam McKendry have all had outstanding seasons this year. The halves look a bit suspect but the rest of the side is pretty good!

Hardly an easy beat.

Meanwhile, in the big game this weekend, the New Zealand Kiwi’s face off against Samoa in what should be another great contest.

The Samoans have yet to name their lineup, they have only named a squad so far, but have a look at the players they have available:

Official Samoan Test Squad
Tony Puletua (St Helens), Francis Meli (St Helens), Ali Lauitiiti (Leeds), David Faiumu (Huddersfield), David Solomona (Warrington), George Carmont (Wigan), Harrison Hansen (Wigan), Ben Roberts (Canterbury), Constantine Mika (Newcastle), Mark Taufua (Newcastle), Joseph Paulo (Penrith), Masada Iosefa (Penrith), Terence Seuseu (Manly), Willie Isa (Melbourne), Daniel Vidot (Canberra), Josh McGuire (Brisbane), Taulima Tautai (Cronulla), Quentin Togaga’e (Souths Logan), Frank Winterstein (Crusaders). (One to be added).

Once again, a very good lineup with a lot of form players, they will give the Kiwi’s a good hit out.

It really is a shame that we only see these Pacific Islands sides at their best only a few times between every World Cup.

The quality of players is there. Compared to the lineups they were running out 15 years ago, its night and day! The big problem is that, these sides are brought together on fairly short notice, they have lucky to play a couple of games at full strength, they hardly ever get games against top sides, they never get games against Australia, and then they don’t play another game thats worthwhile for a year or two.

That is no way to build these sides into the type of opposition Australia and New Zealand need to make a commercial success of games against these teams.

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