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The Samoan brotherhood is so strong in Canberra that Dunamis Lui regularly makes lunch for Josh Papalii and brings it to training.

Lui gets teased about it, gets plenty of commentary about his sandwich fillings, but the 30-year-old doesn't care.

Out of budget concerns was born the idea of sharing something else with his good friend. Now the pair of them will be fuelled up to meet the Storm in Friday's preliminary final.

"There was a period there where I was trying to do a budget so I started making my lunch and bringing it in. That's when I decided to make some for him too," Lui told NRL.com.

"I was trying to save some money so it was nothing special. I'm really good at the basics… tomato, lettuce… but he's my good friend so I thought I'd make extra for him."

At the weekends the Papalii and Liu families often meet for "a real Samoan feast".

Papalii and Lui both hail from Brisbane but the friendship didn't solidify until Lui moved to the Raiders from the Sea Eagles.

"We knew of each other but things didn't really start up until here. He invited me over for a meal not long after I arrived and our partners grew real close. Now our kids are similar ages. It's been a great friendship."

Making two lunches is another way Lui is showing his support of Papalii. He's come off the bench four times this year, when the Origin and dual international needs a rest. Lui has started in the front row 15 times this season and likes both roles.

"If I start I like to rattle some bones and if I come off the bench I want to bring that energy," he said.

"I reached out to (Raiders assistant coach) Brett White at the beginning of pre-season last year and we went and had a coffee.

"We sat down and set out some goals for me. I just didn't want to go out there and play but go out there and get better.

"I’m not the guy to necessarily do that special thing. I'm always in the background trying to do my part and make the boys around me better."

He and Joe Tapine wanted to step into the breach when Sia Soliola went down with multiple facial fractures in July.

"I think I moved up a bit in impact when we started getting all those injuries with Hodgo (Josh Hodgson) and Sia. We needed more boys to step into that leadership role, especially with Sia gone from the middle.

Then there were four …

"We call him 'Uncle' we think so highly of him. So it wasn’t only myself, Papa and Taps – we needed everyone pulling hard."

Tapine's 16 runs, 172 metres, two linebreaks and nine tackle-busts in the 22-18 win over the Roosters last weekend is evidence of that.

His try in the 22nd minute had Nine commentators Andrew Johns and Brad Fittler likening his powerful runs and fends to Sonny Bill Williams.

Although Tapine feels like he only shares two things with SBW – Kiwi heritage and breathing oxygen – he's quietly chuffed at the compliment.

"I looked up to him growing up. He's an outstanding player. Back home at college everyone tried to imitate him," Tapine told NRL.com

"That's a big compliment – I'll take it!"

 

 

Lui is hoping his form also hasn't gone unnoticed. He would really like a place in the Queensland Origin team but has had no communication as yet with incoming coach Wayne Bennett.

"I'd love to get a shot but maybe I'm too old now? But it's always been a dream of mine.

"The only other time I played for Queensland was Under-16s. It was also a dream to play for Samoa and I got that," Lui said of his six Tests from 2014-19.

"To be a part of that Queensland squad, I reckon would be a whole other level and I'd love that opportunity."