When Shaun Wane entered tonight’s press conference after England’s heart breaking 27-26 golden point defeat to Samoa in the Rugby League World Cup semi-finals, he had tears in his eyes.
What followed was a difficult post-mortem of what went wrong for an England team who had been so impressive since week one of the tournament.
The England boss was “wounded”, “gutted”, “devastated”, and “mad” as he openly discussed what went wrong for his team in a defeat against a team they had beaten in the opening game of the tournament 60-6.
There were many moments in the game where things went wrong for England but certainly two in golden point.
The first was a knock on from Jack Welsby which England survived prior to a forward pass which led to the decisive drop goal from Stephen Crichton.
Perhaps a harsh call, Wane had no problems with it and slammed it as a “poor error” which was “not England standard.”
He said: “I think it was a forward pass: poor error. We have to be better, not England standard, Sam won’t accept it, I won’t the players won’t and they’re hurting at the minute.”
Wane had no problems with the refereeing at all dismissing a suggestion that Samoa skipper Junior Paulo should have been red carded for a tip tackle early in the game which only yielded a yellow card.
He responded to this suggestion with: “The way this World Cup has been refereed has been brilliant, they’ve let the players play. I was glad he didn’t get sent off our defeat was nothing to do with that.”