Samoa are headed to their first ever Rugby League World Cup Final.
It’s been a special story for Samoa. Ranked seven in the world going into the tournament, they were talked up a lot prior to the opening game against England due to the fact plenty of NRL stars and even Grand Final winners feature in their squad after Penrith Panthers’ back-to-back title wins.
However, they were stunned by England in the opening game losing 60-6 to Shaun Wane’s side.
They didn’t sit around and lick their wounds even when things were exacerbated by a controversy concerning former Wakefield Trinity coach and Leeds Rhinos Grand Final winner Willie Poching being invited to training and being turned away.
After that they battered Samoa and then in a do or die clash against France comprehensively won to secure their place in the quarter-finals where they edged a classic against former St Helens boss Kristian Woolf’s Tonga.
That set up a rematch with England at the Emirates in Samoa’s first ever semi-final and despite two superb Herbie Farnworth tries which denied them a win inside the 80 minutes a Stephen Crichton drop goal in Golden Point gave Samoa a huge moment in their history.
The country is going wild and Deputy Prime Minister spoke to the squad after the semi-final result in tears.
The celebrations in Samoa have been brilliant but some safety concerns have been raised.
According to Stuff NZ have reported that fans are being asked to avoid a parade planned for Aotea Square.
Instead they are being encouraged to attend official fan zones for the game rather than the parade which has not been officially organised and is causing concerns over safety and traffic.
The final will kick off at 5am local time.