Forget the score line, forget that one team won and the other lost. Forget the implications for the World Cup tournament….because none of it matters. New Zealand’s 42-24 win over Samoa was simply a fantastic game of Rugby League that had just about everything you could want in a sporting contest!
New Zealand started the game looking like a team on a mission. They were making huge meters up the middle of the field and Dean Whare was having a field day out wide.
After 20 minutes the Kiwis had already poured on 22 unanswered points. It was looking dire for Samoa but they managed to pull themselves back into the contest with some good forward play and some big hits.
From about the 22 minute onwards Samoa were a different team. They started making good meters up the middle themselves and looked dangerous out wide. The Samoan forward pack really started taking the game to the Kiwis and the contest started to turn into a war.
Samoa eventually crossed for a try late in the first half when Ben Roberts shrugged off a number of players, including Sonny Bill Williams, to score one hell of a try!
The score line at halftime was 22-4 in the Kiwis favour. The first half had been a tough display of Rugby League that would have caught the attention of other teams in the World Cup. The second half though….wow!
New Zealand came out in the second half with a blitz of three quick tries that threatened to turn he game into a thrashing. Samoa had other ideas though.
Urged on by a very vocal sellout crowd in Warrington, Samoa took the game to a whole new level. The hits they were putting on in defence were brutal and they started getting on top of New Zealand.
A try by Joey Leilua started what was nothin short of a rampage by Samoa and they scored try after try in what was turning into a classic game of football.
Big hits, players almost coming to slows, a hilarious bombed try by Sonny Bill Williams, a hat trick to Manu Vatuvei, and after every Samoan kickoff reception some off the biggest hit up you will ever see!
The final score line of 42-24 didn’t end u being a reflection on the contest at all. Samoa really made New Zealand play hard after the 20 minute mark. This was a great hit out for New Zealand as they look to win back-to-back World Cups, and it will have been a huge confidence booster for Samoa who proved that they can give he best team in this competition some headaches.
This is without doubt the best game of the World Cup so far. An instant classic!
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Feb 21, 2020 0