How commentator helped get Samoa to backflip on controversial media ban ahead of World Cup semi-final

Yesterday it was reported by legendary Australian commentator Andrew Voss that Samoa were to impose a media ban this week as they head into the first semi-final in Rugby League World Cup history up against Shaun Wane’s England at the Emirates Stadium in London this weekend.

The ban was described by Voss as a “crock of sh*t” and many believed the ban was in response to what happened in Samoa’s opening game of the World Cup.

“Media bans in rugby league are a crock of shit. Seriously Rugby League World Cup…Do your job. It’s not life or death. It is sport. Sport attracts opinions all day every day. And you take the good with the bad. If it is offensive material you delete or block.

“Further to my view on media ban;let me tell you that Samoan squad has some of the best personalities in the NRL. Talented yet humble men who are great to deal with. Luai, To’o, Crichton, Papali’i etc. I hope coach changes his stance.Nothing but good will be achieved as a result.”

They went into it as the favourites against England and were blown away 60-6 which naturally led to a lot of negativity which coach Matt Parish referenced in his press conference after his side’s win over Tonga in the quarter-finals at Warrington Wolves’ Halliwell Jones Stadium.

“You [journalists] made it about the first game,” Parish said as he noted that the tournament was always going to be about the last game.

However, despite reports of this media ban, it now seems Samoa have backflipped on the decision with Voss taking to Twitter to say: “I’m being told the best interests of Samoa & the Rugby League World Cup will be served & the team will be available to the media which in turn is actually speaking to the fans. They have so many good personalities & much to celebrate in reaching semis for the 1st time. Hope this remains the case.”

Perhaps it was Vossy’s outspokenness that saw Samoa change their hearts or perhaps his comments spurred the World Cup organisers into action either way it seems like normal service will resume and that fans will get to enjoy the normal build up and hype of a semi-final especially with it being the first in Samoa’s history.

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