Samoa are the poor cousins of the Four Nations tournament, with their players paid less than 10 per cent of what the Kangaroos and Kiwis are set to earn.
Coach Matt Parish said last week his team were treated like "second-class citizens" after controversial officiating marred both their tournament losses so far.
The revelations about Samoa's wages do nothing to change that view, with the Australasian teams on track to earn up to 15 times more than their Samoan counterparts.
Toa Samoa have been the revelation of the tournament so far. Their performances have captured the imagination and their fans have packed the stadiums.
But for some puzzling video refereeing decisions and errant goalkicking, they would have toppled England, and the Pacific team were desperately unlucky against New Zealand last weekend.
But the reward for their efforts is A$1000 ($1163) a match and the money is supposed to go only to the match day 17, leaving nothing for the remaining members of the squad.
In contrast, the Kangaroos and Kiwis receive A$10,000 ($11,171) for each of the group games, another A$10,000 if they make the final and an additional bonus of A$10,000 per head if they take the trophy.
"They get $30,000 and we don't really get anything," said Samoa lock forward Josh McGuire.
"We get A$1000 a game and the boys are splitting that between 24 players instead of 17 so at least everyone gets some money. It's a shame. We are not doing it for money - we are doing it for love - and we want to do our best [but] a test match is a test match."
Test match standards can vary in the weird world of international league but there must be a decent case for parity - or at least a smaller differential - within the current month-long tournament.
"If you're in the Four Nations tournament, it should be the same across the board," McGuire said.
"There were Samoan fans everywhere [in Brisbane and Whangarei] so it's not like it isn't generating revenue for the NRL. The NRL and Rugby League Players' Association need to step up."
The Brisbane back-rower, who is eligible for New Zealand (through birth), Samoa and Australia (through heritage) says financial discrepancies can compromise decisions.
"Our boys are playing because they love the game and representing their country but guys go across to those bigger countries because they get paid well," McGuire said.
"I think if the pay was [the same] across the board, you might see more guys staying with the developing nations."
Remuneration for representative football was restructured last year, with the RLPA and NRL signing a new deal which saw a significant increase in payments for State of Origin and test match appearances for Australasian players. There's no denying it was warranted - especially for the Kiwis, who had been paid poorly compared with Australia.
England have their own deal, believed to be much closer to the Antipodean arrangement than the Samoa situation. Of course, Samoa don't attract the same level of corporate support and sponsors as Australia or New Zealand, which is also a fiscal handicap.
Meanwhile, McGuire is promising his team can again rise to the occasion today in Wollongong against the world champion Australians.
"We'll try to compete to the best of our ability, hold on to the ball and play tough footy," he said. "The Australians have been the pinnacle of rugby league since day dot so they will come out firing."
• Each Kiwis and Kangaroos player earns A$10,000 ($11,171) per match for group games during the Four Nations.
• They could bank another $20,0000 ($22,347) each if they win the final.
• Samoa's players have earned A$708 ($791) per match for each of their two games so far.