21 Oct 2022
What are the teams for Samoa v Greece men at the Rugby League World Cup?
Samoa look to bounce back after defeat to England against Greece who lost to France in Group A
By Paul Eddison
The question for Samoa was always going to be how quickly they would gel in England, but after a heavy defeat to the hosts in their opener, they need to bounce back against Greece.
The World Cup debutants showed plenty of spirit in their first game of the competition, going down 34-12 to France, scoring a couple of second-half tries in the process.
Samoa, meanwhile, were very much in their match with England for a half, but then fell away considerably on the way to a 60-6 loss.
Their cause has not been helped by injuries and suspension, experienced half-back Anthony Milford banned for one game for his late hit on Sam Tomkins, while Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Braden Hamlin-Uele and Tyrone May have all been ruled out through injury.
Despite that, they will need to bounce back against Greece ahead of a potential winner-takes-all clash with France in their final Group A encounter.
However, it is not just Samoa who are dealing with disruption, Greece have lost skipper Jordan Meads who was forced to withdraw from this game with the flu.
READ MORE: Samoa captain Junior Paulo says side need to be more resilient
That means the responsibility in the halves falls on Billy Magoulias, who will come in to partner Lachlan Ilias, while Terry Constantinou will take over the captaincy.
And coach Steve Georgallis has backed Magoulias, who played as a loose forward against France, to thrive in the absence of Meads.
He said: "I am confident Billy can do the job for us. He has the skills to play in the halves. In many ways he is a number 7 playing in a forward's body."
Samoa: 13 Josh Aloiai, 21 Fa’amanu Brown, 4 Stephen Crichton, 19 Mat Feagai, 20 Chanel Harris-Tavita, 15 Royce Hunt, 23 Oregon Kaufusi, 25 Tim Lafai, 16 Spencer Leniu, 9 Danny Levi, 6 Jarome Luai, 8 Josh Papali’i, 10 Junior Paulo (captain), 11 Ligi Sao, 26 Ken Sio, 12 Jaydn Su’a, 1 Joseph Sua’aili’i, 17 Martin Taupa’u, 5 Brian To’o
Greece: 10 Stefanos Bastas, 23 Nikolaos Bosmos, 3 Terry Constantinou, 12 Nick Flocas, 15 Myles Gal, 6 Lachlan Ilias, 14 Jake Kambos, 13 Billy Magoulias, 9 Peter Mamouzelos, 5 Johnny Mitsias, 4 Nick Mougios, 23 Ioannis Nake, 17 Theodoros Nianiakas, 1 Chaise Robinson, 16 Sebastian Sell, 19 Liam Sue-Tin, 2 Siteni Taukamo, 8 Robert Tuilatu, 25 Adam Vrahnos
This will be the very first meeting between the sides, with Greece losing 16-8 to Niue in their last meeting with a Pacific nation back in 2018, also their last international defeat before the France clash.
Greece were not even sure that Siteni Taukamo, who scored their first-ever World Cup try, would be allowed to play because he was just 17 when the squad was being selected. However, Taukamo turned 18 on the opening Saturday of the tournament and celebrated by scoring against France on the Monday.
On a historic night for Greek Rugby League, the Titans did not disappoint!
Two brilliant tries on their Rugby League World Cup debut, which was your favourite?#RLWC2021 | @BBCSport | @GreekRL | #FRAGRE pic.twitter.com/usXIbtipFp
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) October 17, 2022
Samoa have now lost five and drawn one of their last six matches at the Rugby League World Cup although they have not lost two successive international matches since 2018 and will be looking to extend that streak when they take on Greece.
Greece qualified for the finals via the 2019 European play-off tournament, with an 82-6 win over Serbia in Belgrade ensuring safe passage to England.
That made it five wins on the bounce for the Titans prior to that opening defeat to France.
Players to watch
- In the absence of Anthony Milford, a lot of responsibility is likely to fall on the shoulders of Chanel Tavita-Harris at half-back. If he can click with Jarome Luai, he might be able to hold onto the shirt for the final group clash with France.
- Considering how he turned Morgan Escaré inside and out on his way to the line in the clash with France, it is hard to look past South Sydney Rabbitohs wing Nick Mougios for Greece. The 23-year-old is a powerful runner and will look to keep his scoring run going.
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets