On a night where the football World Cup is making headlines, perhaps the time is now for rugby league fans to look back on the Rugby League World Cup.
Yes, the tournament wasn’t the success many hoped it would be for England but their semi-final defeat gave birth to one of the all time great moments in international rugby as Samoa cemented the idea that there are now five teams battling for glory as they became the first Pacific nation to reach the final, doing so at England’s expense.
It came at the end of an exhilarating game at the Emirates in London during which Herbie Farnworth, helped along by Warrington Wolves star George Williams, twice bailed England out. In Golden Point extra time, Penrith Panthers star Stephen Crichton stepped up to nail a superb drop goal to gift Samoa the win.
Now, that moment has a special name amongst the Samoan squad one that pays homage to a legendary, or perhaps infamous moment, in the football World Cup.
Skipper Junior Paulo explained: “Mr clutch himself. He has dubbed himself the boot of God. He’s got that label of intercept king, he managed to pinch one there.”
Crichton was unable to deliver the same heroics in the final as they lost Australia but it was a game where things didn’t go there way such as a 40/20 being missed and a potential red card for Angus Crichton only yielding a yellow.
On this Paulo said: “It wasn’t in our control and was up to the ref. That’s up to the ref. Knowing Angus Crichton, that’s not in his game.”
However, despite the disappointing end, Paulo was proud of what was achieved:
“It’s massive, we spoke in the week about giving ourselves the best chance of being in the game.
“We come away from it with our heads held high. They’re a special bunch but unfortunately the game comes to an end.
“In history those names will always be alongside each other.”