Rugby League World Cup: Toa Samoa relish underdog status with dreams of Manchester miracle against Australia

Toa Samoa relish the underdog tag and welcome the odds against them as they bid to make more history in the Rugby League World Cup final against Australia on Sunday. 

The side have been unstoppable since their opening game thrashing by England, with plenty of belief they can come full circle to lift the trophy at Old Trafford.

If the locals didn't already know Samoa are in town, they do now. 

Samoa celebrate defeating rivals Tonga at the Rugby League World Cup.
Samoa celebrate defeating rivals Tonga at the Rugby League World Cup. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

Taking over Manchester United's famous stadium the only way they know how, ahead of a game they simply can't wait for. 

"It's bee a mad experience so far," winger Brian To'o said. "[We] can't wait for the big week against Aussie, and can't wait to play against the boys."

It's the likes of Penrith Panthers stars like To'o, Jarome Luai and Stephen Crichton, as well as skipper Junior Paulo choosing to play for Samoa that made it all possible.

On Sunday, they'll attempt to knock the other nation they could have played for off their perch. 

"Just the thought of choosing what my heart says," added To'o. "My heart says to play obviously for my people and my family. 

"I haven't regretted it ever since." 

The Kangaroos, though, are veterans on this biggest stage and have won the last two World Cups.  

But that doesn't faze the Pacific Island side. 

"It's obvious that we are the underdogs coming up for Saturday," said assistant coach Geoff Toovey. "I think the players thrive on it. 

"They have in the past couple of weeks particularly." 

In terms of history the sides couldn't be further apart. 

Australia are going for their 12th World Cup title, while Samoa are the first Pacific team just to make the final. 

And they'll know here at the theatre of dreams, anything's possible. 

That belief stems from the avalanche of support from around the world - with none other than the Rock backing the side as well.

"I haven't heard from uncle in a long time," joked To'o. "It was pretty mad, not just for us boys, but all the Samoan and Polynesian people around the world."

People who, just like the players, will be dreaming of a Manchester miracle tomorrow.

Catch the Rugby League World Cup women's final live on Spark Sport (2:15am), or delayed and free-to-air on Three (6am) Sunday