Jon Wilkin fires back at Samoa ‘underdog story’ and says it’s not a shock they beat England

Jon Wilkin believes Samoa have achieved what they were expected to before the tournament in reaching the World Cup final.

Matt Parish’s team came into the tournament as third favourites, but their odds widened significantly after they were humiliated 60-6 by England in the opening game of the tournament.

But the Pacific nation responded incredibly well despite that setback as their star-studded team battled to the semi-final to defeat England in a rematch at the Emirates Stadium.

Their 27-26 golden point win came against the odds, with England made favourites this time around before the match, but player-turned-pundit Wilkin isn’t buying into the ‘underdog’ mantra following their stunning win.

“We shouldn’t be in shock,” he said. “They have got seven guys who played in the NRL Grand Final and they came over here as third favourites for the competition.

“They have actually got through to the final beating a team they were tipped to beat, why would you be shocked about that?”

Wilkin continued by saying that everyone got carried away by England’s form, outlining that time in camp allowed Samoa to catch up to England’s levels of preparedness.

He added: “I think England were well above our expectations and Samoa were well below our expectations at the start.

“What’s happened here is Samoa have got to where we expected them to be and England have fallen back from where they have been.

“It is an amazing story for the Pacific Islands and the impact those small areas have, they have such a big impact on world rugby.

“But this Samoa team, they were one of the favourites before the tournament for a reason because they have eight or nine players who are standout players in the NRL.

“This is not a developing country anymore. Before the tournament they were favourites over England.”

Samoa will now face reigning champions Australia next Saturday at Old Trafford in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup final.

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Phillip Illingworth
Phillip Illingworth
25 days ago

Jon wilkin doesn’t know what he is talking about he said no matter how well Bradford bulls play they can’t beat Leeds Rhinos but they did 22 -20 in 5th round of the challenge cup