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It was the moment that sealed a brotherly bond and put the international game firmly in the spotlight.

The 2015 Pacific Test between Samoa and Tonga on the Gold Coast provided countless highlights, but none could rival Sam Kasiano and Frank Pritchard's try-saving tackle to deny Jorge Taufua what would have been a match-winning Tongan try. 

Trailing 18-16 with under three minutes left on the clock, 'Mate Ma'a' had once last chance to snatch victory against their biggest rivals, but were denied by the unlikeliest pair of defenders.

Kasiano started the play defending on the other side of the field and was still 10 metres infield by the time the Manly winger caught the ball.

With no air left in the lungs, the Bulldogs big man mustered one last effort to launch himself in the general direction of where he thought Taufua and the ball might end up. 

It wasn't pretty – and it certainly wasn't a tackle you'd find in any coaching manual – but it worked. Helped by Pritchard – who came in late to force the Sea Eagle out of play – Kasiano had saved the day for Samoa and won his side the match.

He would have loved to have celebrated the moment with the rest of his teammates who were embracing the Samoan fans in the crowd, but all Kasiano could do was fall onto his haunches and fight for air. 

Twelve months later and Pritchard – the Samoan skipper – still has goose bumps talking about that play. 

"The big fella was posted inside the far post so he had to travel a long way to make that tackle," Pritchard recalled. 

"They were the dying seconds and things like that you can't write a book about them. He just lifted and found that extra effort to make a try-saving tackle. 

"That won us the game, so for him to go that extra mile, that's going to be forever played. It's probably on YouTube with 2,000,000 hits or something like that."

It's a moment that has remained in the memory banks of all Samoan players – past and present – including former Bulldogs and Rabbitohs prop Roy Asotasi.

"That just shows passion," the former Kiwis and Samoan enforcer told 

"I'm pretty sure if they were playing for the Bulldogs, they probably wouldn't have got there. But because of what they represented at that time and that night, they did.

"It was outstanding to see two big guys late in the game and on the other side of the field get there to put their bodies on the line.

"It just shows what their culture represents. They play with their heart and it's not about playing with their head where they have to think about where they are every moment of the game – which is something they probably have to do at club level – but when you're representing Samoa you'll do anything to get there."

The desperation shown by Kasiano and Pritchard was indicative of the strong bond the two behemoths forged during their time together at Belmore. 

Once dubbed the 'Brothers of Destruction', it now seems more fitting to call them the 'Usos' (Samoan for brother) – not because of the WWE connection – but because of their fraternal bond. 

The pair have become so close that Kasiano was at the airport to greet his great mate when he touched down in Sydney last week after a 22-hour flight from the UK. 

"He was a younger guy at the Bulldogs when I was there. We formed a pretty tight bond straightaway. He's basically a younger brother to me," an emotional Pritchard told

"I ring him up from the UK all the time and tell him if he played well. We're still tight."

Any sign of sensitivity from the hardened veteran quickly went away as he set the record straight as to who copied who in regards to the crew cut and lengthy beard.

"You know I set the trends. Young fellas always trying to copy the old dog," he confidently quipped. 

While Kasiano has done plenty to be considered a brother, Pritchard will run on to Pirtek Stadium on Saturday night with a player he can legally call his sibling.

Kaysa Pritchard – who plays at the Eels – has been named at starting hooker and is set to live out a family dream by playing alongside his older brother this weekend. 

It's a moment Frank thought would never come and will end years of confusion as the rest of the family were torn over who to cheer for. 

"It's the first time I get to play with my younger brother. It'll probably be the first time you see two Pritchards on the field at the same time. I'm looking forward to it and I know my family is too," he proudly proclaimed. 

"It was a split decision [when I was still in the NRL] so nobody wore any jerseys. But this week will be the one time our family can put on the one jersey and cheer for us both. It's a great occasion for us."

This article first appeared on

Acknowledgement of Country

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.