England 26-27 Samoa Player Ratings: St Helens man shines, world class Warrington Wolves star and ex-Castleford Tigers player has big impact

Heart ache for an England team who gave us so much to believe in all tournament.

At times they appeared to do enough to win the game but ultimately a few big moments from Shaun Wane’s side let a final spot slip through their fingers.

There were some players who will want the game again and some who didn’t deserve to lose.

1 Sam Tomkins – 7
Kicked well but wasn’t given the platform to shine in the way we know he can. Very few opportunities to come out the back in the first half. Grew more into the game in the second half with a captain’s performance. Showed the nuance of his game when he popped up on the blindside to give Williams the space necessary to break and create the equaliser with a minute to go. A subtle detail but a vital one. However, he was ultimately involved in the move which cost England the game where either he or Welsby was guilty of a forward pass.

14 Dom Young – 6
Samoa clearly wanted to manage the young winger and made it difficult for him to come out of his own end though he still looked capable of bursting through. Samoa’s first half tries both came down his flank. At 16-12 he made a crucial error from a kick and subsequently his right side was raided again for Samoa’s fourth try.

3 Kallum Watkins – 6
Watkins will want the first 40 minutes back. Both Samoa’s tries came in the space next to him and he was denied a try by his Salford Red Devils teammate Tim Lafai who enjoyed the better of this battle of the Red Devils down that side in the first 40 scoring the opening try. Watkins didn’t wait long to remedy this in the second 40 putting Lafai under pressure to create England’s second. Unfortunately, he and Young would again get caught out for Samoa’s third try.

4 Herbie Farnworth – 8
Looked a threat but in the first half it was one of those days where opportunities just wouldn’t stick. Eventually it did stick vitally as he hit a strong line and twisted and turned out of tackles to get England back into the game. That looked like being the moment of the final everyone remembers but was usurped by his second try as England levelled it

2 Tommy Makinson – 9
It was the same for Makinson who could have given England the lead in the first minute. He looked like England’s most dangerous player in the first 40 with some impressive runs. He came up with a massive intercept at the start of the second half which helped get England up the other end to score the second half’s opening try. A vital involvement as was his equalising conversion. Didn’t deserve to lose.

6 Jack Welsby – 6
Like Young, Samoa were keen to manage him and gave him very little space. Would have liked to have been more involved for sure and will have been frustrated by the late forward pass call.

7 George Williams – 8
Created England’s first try for Elliot Whitehead and looked a dangerous running threat. His kicking game was a mixed bag in the first 40. His first two kicks of the second half saw England create pressure and then score through John Bateman. He was back to his best in the second half especially as his running game asked questions. As he went in search of an equaliser at 26-20, he threw a big pass which didn’t pay off as a comedy of errors led to Samoa snuffing out a key opportunity late on. That looked like the end of it for England until Williams ‘ dummy saw him break down field and set up Farnworth for an equalising try to send the Emirates crazy. A moment that deserved to win te game.

8 Tom Burgess – 6
Didn’t have the impact we’ve seen him have all tournament in his first stint as Samoa dominated.

9 Michael McIlorum – 6
Had a tough job on his hands managing the juggernauts of the Samoan pack charging at him in the first 40.

18 Chris Hill – 6
Like Burgess it wasn’t the performance we’ve come to expect from Hill as Samoa dominated the first 40.

11 Elliot Whitehead – 7
Took his try well one or two noteworthy tackles too as England tried to wrestle back momentum in the first half.

12 John Bateman – 7
Looked a threat but his highlights came in defence with some vital tackles to stop the Samoans building too much momentum. Deserved a try in the second 40 and he got one as he was on hand to score a simple try.

13 Victor Radley – 7
Once again the same for him as with Burgess and Hill. Was unable to take the first 40 by the scruff of the neck. Was more of a menace in defence in the second half. Perhaps played his best rugby of the game at nine especially as when he moved to 13 again he pushed too hard, England overall were guilty of this at 20-20, and threw an intercept to Crichton.


10 Luke Thompson – 7
Gave England some freshness as all the subs did but in the first 40 there seemed no changing of the pattern of the game as Samoa dominated. Eventually the game swung back England’s way and the energy the subs gave them was key.

15 Morgan Knowles – 7
Ended up kicking on the last at the end of the first half in a moment that summed up England’s display in the first 40. Got through work as you’d expect.

17 Mike Cooper – 7
Was the first sub to come on but was unable to change the pattern of the game as England struggled to get a foothold in the game other than through Samoan ill-discipline. As the second half started he began to generate some speed in the England attack.

20 Mike McMeeken – 7
He proved to be the man to make the difference as his big hit shortly after coming gave England the possession from which, eventually after plenty of missed opportunities and second bites at the cherry, led to Farnworth’s try.

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Ian Hudson
Ian Hudson
16 days ago

Totally disagree, Wellsby was a 4 at best Bateman a 3. Mike mcMeekan was at least an 8 Whitehead and Farnsworth 8 or even 9

I’m afraid the Samoans had a game plan to show Wellsby and Young’s lack of experience. And that pulled Bateman and Watkins out of position and made life very easy for the Samoan left edge