Phil Gould speaks out after Samoa beat England to make World Cup final

Phil Gould made a bit of a fool out of himself during the first week of the Rugby League World Cup – but now the comments that left him with egg on his face don’t seem so silly.

The Australian TV pundit was mocked after claiming “England can’t beat Samoa” prior to the opening game of the tournament before England went on to win a resounding 60-6.

In fairness to Gould, he wasn’t shy in crediting England for their opening week heroics, however, just four weeks later, it now seems as though his statement wasn’t as silly as many first thought.

It comes after Samoa got revenge on England in the semi-final of the World Cup, winning an epic encounter 27-26 thanks to a Stephen Crichton drop goal in golden point extra time.

It was a result that sees Samoa through to their first-ever Rugby League World Cup final, and following the game Gould took to his Twitter to react to the result.

He said: “What a wonderful moment for Rugby League. Samoa into the RLWC Final. A victory built on courage and resilience. They had to overcome so much, yet prevailed against the odds. England tried hard right to the end. But the big story is the Samoa victory. Just brilliant.”

Gould’s fingerprints are all over the success of the Samoan team due to his role as Penrith Panthers’ General Manager as players like Crichton and man of the match Jarome Luai were coming through the ranks.

It was Gould who focused the Panthers on bringing through their own, which has since led to them winning back-to-back NRL Premiership titles.

With no fewer than seven Penrith players among the Samoa squad to make the final, Gould was quick to point out that five of the seven had come through the club’s academy.

He added: “Just brilliant. 6 players from Panthers Academy in last night’s semi final. Another 5 Panther Academy players for Samoa tonight. It’s an amazing achievement.”

Up next for Samoa is the final next Saturday as they take on reigning champions Australia at Old Trafford in Manchester.

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