England had been written off going into their opening game against Samoa.
Samoa were boosted by their contingent of NRL Grand Final winners and were viewed as a team with a very realistic chance of making the final, maybe more so than the host nation themselves.
However, when it came down to it, England steamrolled over the top of Samoa scoring 10 tries in a clear statement to the rest of the tournament.
After the game, Victor Radley picked up the Man of the Match and spoke to the BBC about the game: “It was really enjoyable, really tough at the start. It was a really good game. We knew they were going to come out firing and they did.
“The first 20 minutes I was so tired, so it was good that we hung in there, kept firing and ended up scoring points at the end which didn’t quite show how the game went.”
England were branded as the underdogs prior to the game by the bookies and the media, but this was a narrative Radley rejected: “I didn’t feel like an underdog myself, I don’t read into the media and things like that. I keep completely away from it. I don’t think we were the underdogs.”
He also revealed the group is getting tighter every day which can only be a bad thing for their rivals: “Just giving the fellas hugs there, we get tired every day and this makes us that bit tired.”