29 Apr 2015

Sport: Toa Samoa coach looking forward, not back

10:48 am on 29 April 2015

Samoa rugby league coach Matt Parish says their impressive run during last year's Four Nations tournament will count for nothing this weekend.

The Toa climbed to fourth in the world rankings after coming within a converted try of beating England and New Zealand, and also proved competitive against Australia.

The bulk of that team will line-up against Tonga in Saturday's Pacific Test on the Gold Coast and Matt Parish isn't expecting an easy ride against their Polynesian neighbours.

Toa Samoa rugby league coach Matt Parish

Toa Samoa rugby league coach Matt Parish Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"We're proud of what we achieved in the Four Nations [and] we're really proud of where we've come in the last 18 months but it counts for nothing now it's a new season. We need to start again and this weekend against Tonga it's going to be a massive game because, without a doubt, it's the strongest Tongan team they've ever picked, on paper, and we need to prepare well to play well".

Matt Parish says the inclusion of Sam Kasiano is a massive boost for the Toa going into this weekend's Pacific Test clash against Tonga.

"When I found out he was available for Samoa I picked him instantly. A guy of his talent, to have him in the team we're certainly very privileged. He's pretty passionate about Samoa, he's played really well for the Bulldogs this year, he's a big guy and he gives us certainly a lot of leadership and thrust up-front, along with Frank Pritchard".

Matt Parish says he's also excited about the potential of North Queensland's John Asiata and Frank Luisi from the Warriors, who will make their test debut against the Mate Ma'a.