England 26-27 Samoa: Crichton stuns hosts in golden-point thriller

By Sports Desk November 12, 2022

Stephen Crichton kicked the decisive drop-goal as Samoa made Rugby League World Cup history, beating England 27-26 after golden point extra time to reach the final.

Samoa were underdogs having lost 66-6 to England in the tournament opener, but held a 10-6 lead at the break after first-half tries from Tim Lafai and Ligi Sao, with Elliott Whitehead scoring for England

Tommy Makinson dotted down under the posts after a Samoa error handling a kick and gave England the lead with his conversion, but a sensational move featuring slick handling from Jarome Luai and Junior Paulo sent Crichton over for Samoa.

Lafai doubled his tally after more excellent ball handling, but Herbie Farnworth barged over before John Bateman's try levelled matters. Crichton's interception score looked to have won it for Samoa, only for Farnworth's second try after a George Williams break and Makinson's conversion to force sudden death.

England lost all composure in the extra period, though, and Crichton was fittingly the hero with a superb kick as Samoa became the first side other than Australia, New Zealand or Great Britain to reach the final since the tournament expanded beyond four teams. They will face the Kangaroos in next Saturday's final.

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