Rugby League World Cup

Samoa have bounced back from their World Cup opening defeat with a 72-4 smashing of Greece in Doncaster.

Embarrassed by England in Newcastle, the Pacific nation has restored some pride with the 64-point win.

Samoa raced to a 42-0 lead at half-time in south Yorkshire, piling on seven tries before adding six more in the Group A rout.

It took just 58 seconds for Brian To’o score, off a Chanel Harris-Tevita bomb. Stephen Crichton converted to make it 6-0.

Junior Paulo was the next to cross, before Jarome Luai offloaded for Danny Levi to touch down. Crichton was on target to take it 18-0.

In the 21st minute Harris-Tevita stepped his way for a try, and then Royce Hunt beat four defenders to get over the line.

Crichton added the extras to increase the lead to 30-0.

Before half-time Luai and Tim Lafai both crossed as the Samoans hit 42-0. It was tough going for the part-time European country.

But in the second half the outpowered Greeks lifted and hit back.

In the 48th minute they sent the crowd into raptures when Lachlan Illias chipped over the top, Jake Kambos gathered the ball and passed inside for Illias for a brilliant try.

The halfback couldn’t convert, but the Titans were on the scoreboard in a special moment.
Normal service resumed four minutes later when Nu Brown darted from dummy half and forced his way over.

Three minutes later they went left to right and Crichton finished it off as Samoa hit 50.

On 59 minutes Harris-Tevita grabbed his second of the night off a Luai grubber kick.

Luai was running the show and Matt Feagai was the next to get on the scoresheet for Samoa.

In the 68th minute it was Levi who secured his brace, after some hard running from the Samoan pack, before Lafai closed out the match with his second try of the evening.

Samoa will now face France, with the winner of that game progressing on to the knockout stages.

Samoa 72

Tries: B. To’o (1), J. Paulo (5), D. Levi (16), C. Harris-Tavita (22), R. Hunt (30), J. Luai (33), T. Lafai (37), F. Brown (53), S. Crichton (56), C. Harris-Tavita (60), M. Feagai (63), D. Levi (69), T. Lafai (79)

Goals: S. Crichton (3), S. Crichton (5), S. Crichton (18), S. Crichton (23), S. Crichton (31), S. Crichton (34), S. Crichton (38), S. Crichton (54), S. Crichton (61), S. Crichton (71)

Greece 4

Tries: L. Ilias (48)

John is a freelance journalist who has been writing about rugby league for the past decade. He covered the 2013 and 2017 World Cups, has appeared on TV and radio, and been published in The I-Paper, The Guardian, The Sun, The Mirror, League Express, Inside Sport magazine and Big League. He writes regularly for Forty-20 magazine, League Weekly and co-hosts the podcasts By the Balls and Six To Go.