Paulo: "You can't wipe the smile from the Tomahawks"

Dyldam Parramatta Eels utility and USA Tomahawks captain Joseph Paulo has done his country proud, leading the unheralded side into the quarterfinals in the debut Rugby League World Cup.


The team fought valiantly but went down to the Australian Kangaroos 62-0 today; but Sefa is still exceptionally proud.


The campaign weve had, you always want the ride to go for long, but we played the best of the best today, and Australia was great all over the park, so skilful and fast, he said.


But you cant wipe the smile away from us, we really enjoyed the ride!


Nobody expected anything from the Tomahawks and we walk away with fans, attention in America and hopefully a market there that we can play.


For a side which only had limited resources and training opportunities, to advance to the knock-out stage in their debut World Cup is quite an achievement.


We had one training session before our first trial game against France, and then three games in nine days in the Group stage, Paulo said.


its really special how crazy this emotion you feel is with this bunch of boys, who have carried the Tomahawks spirit throughout the World Cup.


That sprit has won them an allegiance of fans who cheered on the underdogs throughout the tournament, causing a few surprises along the way.


Im really proud of the boys and proud of the way theyve displayed throughout the tournament and being able to play against the best, Paulo said.


We never gave up; a lot of teams we played in the tournament scored the first try and we never gave up and put our heads down, we always had a dig.


Looking ahead, Paulo will return to the Blue and Gold with a renewed spring in his step - as will his teammates.


The boys came here playing for something - either people playing their last game, or people who have never played in a tournament, or people getting contracts and offers, its a great achievement on and off the field, and I wish them all the best.


I hope this experience can propel me to play my best footy at Parramatta.


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