Jamie Peacock says England were just the ‘best prepared team’ who ‘don’t have the best players’

Former Great Britain captain Jamie Peacock was damning in his assessment of England’s defeat to Samoa which eliminated them from the World Cup.

England had already beaten Samoa convincingly prior to their semi-final showdown, humiliating Matt Parish’s team 60-6 on the opening day of the tournament.

However, fast forward four weeks and it was a very different story as Shaun Wane’s side were stunned in golden point extra-time – Stephen Crichton’s drop goal seeing Samoa prevail 27-26 and set up a final against Australia next Saturday.

Reflecting on the game and the tournament, Peacock believes England were simply the ‘best prepared’ team going into the World Cup which led to their resounding win in week one – before suggesting teams like Samoa caught up to their level as the tournament progressed.

“England were the best prepared team but didn’t have the best players, and that prep led to some great performances, but Samoa have caught up with that,” said Peacock.

“There was always a nagging doubt in my mind around the first Samoan performance. Everything went for England that day and because of those seven players playing in the NRL Grand Final, their preparation was limited.

“I always just come back to it, that England team, what’s stood them out to be successful is that they have had a higher level of preparation than any other team, so they were always going to start the competition well.

Peacock continued: “As the tournament has progressed the other teams have caught up in terms of preparation and in terms of cohesiveness and we have seen that today. England have almost regressed in terms of execution and detail today.

“In the end that’s what has cost them, because they should have won that game by the three or four clear opportunities that they had.”

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