When England stepped out onto the field at St James’ Park to battle against Samoa, many were tipping Shaun Wane’s side to lose.
Samoa went into the game as the bookmakers’ favourites for the win and many saw them as more likely winners of the tournament itself than England.
A lot of this stemmed from the players in the Samoa squad who had played in and even won the NRL Grand Final between Penrith and Parramatta.
Meanwhile, many saw the fact that Samoa were 10-15 kilos heavier than England as another reason why they were favourites for the game.
In the end, it was England who bullied Samoa. The backs blew holes through Samoa playing the game at their pace and helping the English pack to utterly control the game.
According to Luke Thompson though, the talk surrounding Samoa before the game was something the English players “took personally” helping inspire them to victory.
He told Serious About Rugby League: “There’s been a lot of chat about them leading up into the game and we took it personally because people weren’t really talking about us.
“We know what we’re capable of, we just focussed on ourselves making sure we had our own backyard in order and definitely did that tonight.”
Thompson also praised the performance as a while especially for the way he and his teammates were “relentless” from start to finish.
“The lads were awesome today, we backed up from the Fiji game,” Thompson said, “We did some good stuff against Fiji and brought it into this game which was really pleasing.
“I thought first 20 minutes we got on top of them and from there we just broke them. We were relentless, we spoke about being relentless all week and we did that for the full 80 minutes going after them and that’s the reason for the scoreline.”