Toa Samoa take on Australia in the first of the World Cup quarter-finals on Friday night, in what is shaping up to be a hard fought contest in the hot and humid conditions of Darwin.
Although the Samoan side is yet to post a win during the tournament, Sharks star Ricky Leutele believes that his side could still be the World Cup’s wildcard.
“We haven’t played the footy we know we are capable of just yet, hopefully tonight is the night we produce that full 80 minute performance and get the upset.”
“We had an awesome camp in Samoa before this campaign, worked really hard together and we know what we can do.”
The Brisbane born centre has been truly humbled at his chance to represent Samoa, something that means not only a lot to him, but to his family also.
“Samoa is so rich in culture and it’s where my family is from; it’s our heritage.”
“The country is a big part of my life, so to have this opportunity to represent not only my family, but also the Samoan people and Pacific Island people in general on the World stage, it's very humbling.”
“Just to step out there on the biggest stage, with the best players in the World, it’s been such an awesome experience that I’m so grateful for.”
With a good mix of size, speed and power, the Samoan team are more than capable of producing an upset over one of the big three, and after an historic win for Tonga, Leutele knows that anything is possible.
“It was awesome to see."
“We came so close in 2014 to beating them (New Zeland) in the four nations, so to watch the Tongan boys come away with the win, it really gives you that extra motivation and inspiration.”
“All of the pressure is on the Kangaroos, so if we can keep up with them early, play the footy we know we can, with the pride and passion we all have, I can’t see why we can’t beat them.”
Australia v Samoa
Friday 7pm (8:30pm AEDT)
Live coverage on Channel 7 from 7:30pm