Phil Gould responds to his “England can’t beat Samoa” comment after England win 60-6

Much of the talk ahead of England’s World Cup opener against Samoa centred around comments by Australian TV commentator Phil Gould.

The 64-year-old former NRL and State of Origin player, who is now part of the commentary team on Channel 9, responded to a tweet from a fan asking about his thoughts on the opening match of the tournament.

In a bold statement, Gould said: “England can’t beat Samoa”.

That comment received a huge backlash online from many English rugby league fans, with England captain Sam Tomkins responding in the build-up by questioning who Gould even was.

It’s likely his statement was based off Samoa’s star-studded squad that includes seven players that played in the recent NRL Grand Final between Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels.

What Gould didn’t factor in was the talent England have in both Super League and the NRL, and in a superb display Shaun Wane’s side won the opener a resounding 60-6 to the joy of the 45,000-strong crowd at St James’ Park in Newcastle.

In response to that result, Gould has taken to his Twitter again and this time he was on hand to give England the credit they deserved – while also labelling Samoa’s performance ‘dismal’.

During the game he tweeted: “England dominating the advantage line in both attack and defence. Beating Samoa to the punch on every play. Look slick. Hooker and halves terrific. Samoa look like they are on holidays and haven’t trained together. Very disjointed. Defence awful. Very disappointing so far.”

At full-time, Gould said: “England too good. That’s a big win for the home side. Great start to the RLWC for the fans. Fast, skilful, committed. It obviously meant so much more to them. Taking nothing away from England, but Samoa were a rabble. Never in the contest. Dismal display. Well done England.”

It’s a result that is likely to raise a few eyebrows down under, with England stunning Samoa by a margin nobody could have predicted to lay down a real marker for the rest of the tournament.

Looking further ahead, it also means England will likely have a clear path to the semi-finals should they beat the teams they are expected to in the coming weeks.

For Samoa, it was a reality check and should they now come through the group, most likely in second place, it will be a showdown with Pacific rivals Tonga in the quarter-finals should the draw go as expected.

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James thomas Crossland
James thomas Crossland
1 month ago

Just watching Fiji v Aussies ,a three on one tackle was just ruled as a legitimate ball steal in favour of Australia ,says everything you need to know about today’s Rugby League and the standards of Rugby League commentators ,absolute rubbish .