‘Nobody gave us a chance’ was Jarome Luai’s message to the rugby league world after Samoa stunned England to make it through to the World Cup Final.
The mercurial playmaker also revealed that their week one defeat to England was a ‘blessing in disguise’ which motivated them to victory at the Emirates Stadium.
Stephen Crichton’s drop goal in golden point extra-time ensured the Pacific Islanders made it through to Old Trafford next weekend with an epic 27-26 semi-final triumph.
And speaking after the game to the BBC, man of the match Luai said their thrashing four weeks ago played into their hands.
“I don’t think anyone gave us a chance tonight,” said Luai. “The belief we have within this group is really strong. I’m a bit emotional, missing my family but I’m loving this moment right now.
“It was just our scramble, our belief. Not many calls went our way but our brotherhood really showed tonight. It’s never been done before by a Samoan side and I just love this group of boys.
“The loss to England was a blessing in disguise. There was a lot of talk and expectation around us before the tournament but that gave us a bit of pressure relief.
“We put our heads down and came up with a solid game plan and it worked for us tonight so I’m really grateful.”
Luai also spoke briefly about next week’s final when they will take on reigning champions Australia to create even more history.
He added: “We’ve now got to face the best of the best but first we’ve got to enjoy this moment and we will see what we can do next week.”