Samoa star to miss semi-final clash with England as fellow key man escapes ban with caution

The big talking point going into the Rugby League World Cup semi-finals this weekend and the match review panel, the major talking point was going to be the two Samoa stars placed on report after their clash against Tonga yesterday as they won 20-18 to set up a semi-final clash with Shaun Wane’s England this weekend at the Emirates Stadium.

Skipper Junior Paulo was placed on report for striking whilst star fullback Joseph Suaali’i was also placed on report for raising his knee.

Suaali’i was the star player for Samoa yesterday with his brilliant break leading the way to the vital try for Brian To’o which proved the difference in the win over Tonga and Matt Parish will be pleased that he has his star fullback available.

Meanwhile, Paulo misses out after receiving a one match ban for the striking offence.

This means Samoa will be without one of their key forwards for the semi-final clash against England.

Meanwhile, all three other semi-finalists have avoided bans.

Here is the statement released by the tournament organisers:

Following the recent meeting of the RLWC2021 Match Review Panel which took place on 7 November, the following sanctions has been issued:

•            Junior Paulo (Samoa): Grade A Other Striking Offences, 1 match penalty notice

The following player received a caution:

•            Joseph Sua’ali’I (Samoa): Raising knee in tackle. 

The deadline to challenge the decisions is 11am on Tuesday 8 November.

RLWC2021 would like to thank the Match Review Panel members Nathan McAvoy, Paul Dixon, Phil Veivers and Jerome Guisset.

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