Samoa centre Antonio Winterstein believes that the Samoa squad have the talent to go far in Rugby League World Cup 2013, and wants his side to play to their full potential across the entire 80 minutes in their last Group B game against France at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, Perpignan tonight (8.00pm).
Toa recorded their maiden win at RLWC2013 as they brushed aside Papua New Guinea at Craven Park, Hull, last Monday, which followed an impressive performance in defeat against defending world champions New Zealand, in which Samoa ran in five tries.
Winterstein, who is the tournament’s joint-top try-scorer so far with four tries, wants his team to show what they are capable of over longer periods of play.
“We did well in the first half but we came out in the second half and went away from what worked for us in the first half and we struggled for a bit,” said Winterstein. “I think we have just got to keep our effort up for the whole 80 minutes.
“If we can play like we can for the full 80 minutes, I don’t see a team that can stick with us. The confidence is there and we have just got to execute that now.
“Our first half against the Kiwis was poor and our first half against PNG was awesome, so if we can string along 80 minutes of good, hard footy then we will be alright.
“I have got full confidence in the boys and, whoever is in the team, I will back them one hundred per cent. We have definitely got the squad and the talent to do it, so let’s just get out there and put in a good display.”
Samoa head into their final group game against a French side who will have a strong home backing behind them and Winterstein, who scored a hat-trick in Samoa’s demolishment of PNG, says his team is not taking the encounter lightly.
“I was lucky there,” said Winterstein. “I was set up with a few flip passes and I just had to cross over the line. I think our combinations are working very well and we had a good training session yesterday so hopefully we can go into our next game with a lot of confidence.
“I don’t think the boys really think about it the way we play, I think we just go out there and do our job and the rest takes care of itself. I think the crowd just like us because we play that tough mentality footy.
“Anything can happen on the day if they turn up with the right attitude with a grind-out-win mentality, so we are definitely not going into this game lightly, we will be training as best we can and we’re going to put in a good performance against France.”
Samoa head coach Matthew Parish has named his 19 man squad to play France at Stade Gilbert Brutus on Monday (20:00)
Leeson Ah Mau