Harrison Hansen backs his beloved Samoa to cause World Cup upset

Harrison Hansen Samoa SWpix Credit: Alamy
Harrison Hansen Samoa SWpix Credit: Alamy

Former Samoa captain Harrison Hansen says he would not be surprised to see the nation cause a World Cup upset over the host nation England.

Matt Parish’s side have the chance to avenge their 60-6 opening defeat in the World Cup at the Emirates Stadium this Saturday in the semi-finals.

Hansen, 37, was named as the captain of the Samoan side ahead of the 2013 World Cup following the withdrawal of Roy Asotasi. However, the forward suffered an injury during their warm-up match against England Knights and was forced to watch his side’s tournament from the sidelines.

The two-time Grand Final winner believes the scoreline could go either way in the second semi-final, but he’ll be cheering on his Samoan brothers on Saturday afternoon. 

“I know England gave them a drumming the first game, but it took Samoa a few games to get up to speed,” Hansen told Love Rugby League.

“It’s going to be a tough game. It’s not a definitely Samoa or England can win, it’s almost a 50-50. 

“Last week’s game against Tonga probably took a lot out of the Samoa boys, so it’s going to be a big ask. But they can do it. They definitely have the team.”

Samoa went on to defeat Greece and France in the group stages, before a staggering 20-18 victory over Tonga in the quarter-final.

Harrison Hansen: The motivation is there

“It’s going to be interesting,” Hansen said previewing Saturday. “I can see an upset from England, but they’ll be no surprises if Samoa take the win. 

“There’s a few boys in there from the 2013 squad; Anthony Milford and Tim Lafai. He’s turned his career around since joining Salford.

“I’m really looking forward to the game. I’ll be cheering on Samoa, of course I will. But they’ll be no hard feelings if England go on to win with the way they’ve been playing. 

“Junior Paulo has been cleared to play as well, which is a massive bonus. He has been great for them. It’s going to be a great game to watch.

“There’s lots to gain for both sides. I think it will be the first final that Samoa reach if they do it. The motivation is there. It will be a massive thing. But then you’ve got England with the home advantage and the way that Waney has got them, England will be a tough team to beat.”

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