One thing I wasn't sure about was the extent to which the Samoans play in the NRL/SL every week, as opposed to being semi pro/fringe players.
I'd say everyone of the Samoan players who turned out today are nailed on first teamers with their respective NRL/SL clubs. It is good to see the likes of Samoa and Fiji becoming more competitive over recent years. Now all we have to do is give them regular test matches to play.
Only just had chance to watch the game tonight. Thought England's lack of ball control in the first half had a big impact on the game. Samoa looked the fitter at the end but had less defensive work to do due to England's first half dropsies.
Widdop and Smith looked promising, the props went well, Sam had a big influence at the back and Watkins looked dangerous on the scraps he was fed.
I am a real big fan of Daz Clark, but his distribution from dummy half worries me. If a long pass is needed from dummy half he has a tendency to stand upright, then pass, rather than a quick ball from the deck. Against Aus and Nz this could make life for our halves very tough. Hopefully our pack will be on the front foot so much that this doesn't become a factor.
I'm a bit surprised that people seem to think England should have dominated the Samoan pack. In the past Samoan teams have had many aspects of play that weren't brilliant, but one thing is never in doubt, they don't get physically out muscled. Under Matt Parrish they have come on in leaps and bounds and NRL coaching has made them a serious opponent for anybody.
With the Aussies being beaten this competition has really opened up and England surely have a good chance of going all the way.
- Exiled Wiganer likes this