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Rugby League World Cup

Brian Noble highlights ‘the difference’ between England and Samoa in superb semi-final

England came up one point short in the Rugby League World Cup semi-final this weekend as they lost 27-26 to Samoa at the Emirates Stadium as their campaign came to an end in heartbreaking fashion akin to the devastation of their last semi-final in London in 2013 when a late Shaun Johnson try snatched the game away from England.

This time it was a Stephen Crichton drop goal which settled the game and gave the final place to Samoa.

It came after a forward pass from Sam Tomkins in golden point extra time which saw former St Helens and Warrington Wolves prop Kyle Amor describe it as England handing the win on a plate to Samoa speaking on the BBC: “You feel England have handed it to them on a plate, a knock on and a forward pass in extra time.”

That was the defining moment in the game, but the difference between the two teams was one man in the eyes of Brian Noble.

Also speaking on BBC, the former Bradford Bulls and Wigan Warriors coach, when naming the Man of the Match, said that Penrith Panthers star Jarome Luai who caused England problems all game was the difference between the two sides in such a close contest.

He said: “It’s been some tussle, there’s been candidates on both sides. George Williams was excellent for England but for his enthusiasm, his inspiration, his influence, his direction round the field and his kicking game, Jarome Luai has been the difference between the teams at crucial times, he made breaks, made passes, scored points.”

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