Samoa should be riding high at this present moment.
Matt Parish’s team just won an epic encounter against Tonga on Sunday to book their place in a first Rugby League World Cup semi-final in their history.
So, not only have they already accomplished something noteworthy in the tournament, they are just 80 minutes away from the final.
However, things don’t seem as positive around Samoa as you might think with reports of a media ban yesterday.
Furthermore, they were left nervously waiting on the match review panel’s verdict as star player Joseph Suaali’i and skipper Junior Paulo were placed on report.
Though both players were found guilty of the same offence – Law 15.1 (a) – striking or tripping – only Paulo received a ban.
Many felt that it was Suaali’i’s offence which was more deserving of a suspension but it also means that the Samoan skipper will miss out on history this weekend as his side prepare to take on England without him.
Phil Gould, who when England and Samoa met in the opening game said “England can’t beat Samoa” prior to England’s 60-6 win, has had his say on the ban.
Though brief, he clearly indicates that the decision is certainly a disappointing one as he said: “What a terrible result.”
What a terrible result. https://t.co/JGg5g5Q5ZQ
— Phil Gould (@PhilGould15) November 7, 2022
Samoa may yet appeal the ban, but as of right now Paulo is set to miss out.