Lee Radford explains his pivotal role in helping Samoa beat England

Lee Radford’s role in Samoa’s victory over England is perhaps one that will go unnoticed.

Castleford Tigers boss Radford was drafted into the Samoan coaching team just before the tournament to assist Matt Parish.

The 43-year-old revealed midweek that his role within the coaching team is focused on the defence, something that came under scrutiny after Samoa were hammered 60-6 by England in the opening game.

However, they turned that around in the semi-final to pull off a memorable 27-26 golden point victory against the hosts, showing a massive defensive improvement in the process.

And speaking after the game, assistant coach Radford revealed his role in helping Samoa improve and make the World Cup final.

He said: “Look from week one, there is a big difference in ruck speed between Super League and the NRL. We had to teach some boys some things they have either not done for a long time or not at all.

“To get to grips with the ruck tempo and what you can get away with on the floor has probably been our biggest improvement and I thought today we got the majority of that right.”

Radford also went into detail on how the Samoan team were able to forget their week one loss almost instantly.

“One of the big differences in culture is the prayer-maker spoke after the game and said ‘forget about it and move on’ and they literally forgot about it and moved on by the time they got to the bus.

“That was a real eye opener for me because I was nearly in tears on the bus as I’m reading my messages off everybody that’s giving me stick. They didn’t dwell on it, that is for sure.”

Explaining more about the team’s progress, Radford believes that they have a chance against reigning champions Australia in next week’s final.

He added: “They have been progressing throughout the games, getting a little bit better in every area and I thought today we put some really nice stuff together defensively.

“You wouldn’t have thought that 10 minutes after that first game we would make the final.

“Watching them (Australia) last night, they are obviously a fantastic side but you just never know.”

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