England 26-27 Samoa: Crichton stuns hosts in golden-point thriller

By Sports Desk November 12, 2022

Stephen Crichton kicked the decisive drop-goal as Samoa made Rugby League World Cup history, beating England 27-26 after golden point extra time to reach the final.

Samoa were underdogs having lost 66-6 to England in the tournament opener, but held a 10-6 lead at the break after first-half tries from Tim Lafai and Ligi Sao, with Elliott Whitehead scoring for England

Tommy Makinson dotted down under the posts after a Samoa error handling a kick and gave England the lead with his conversion, but a sensational move featuring slick handling from Jarome Luai and Junior Paulo sent Crichton over for Samoa.

Lafai doubled his tally after more excellent ball handling, but Herbie Farnworth barged over before John Bateman's try levelled matters. Crichton's interception score looked to have won it for Samoa, only for Farnworth's second try after a George Williams break and Makinson's conversion to force sudden death.

England lost all composure in the extra period, though, and Crichton was fittingly the hero with a superb kick as Samoa became the first side other than Australia, New Zealand or Great Britain to reach the final since the tournament expanded beyond four teams. They will face the Kangaroos in next Saturday's final.

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    The Real Madrid midfielder built on the momentum from his memorable debut season with Los Blancos, for whom he scored 23 goals and helped win LaLiga and the Champions League.

    The second player after Michael Owen to score at the World Cup and European Championship before turning 21, he is also the first to do so for the Three Lions while playing his club football outside of England.

    And Tadic, who appeared as a second-half substitute in Serbia's first match at the European Championship as a unified nation, paid tribute to the 20-year-old.

    When asked whether he thought Bellingham was the difference in the Group C contest, the Eagles skipper told reporters: "Yes, definitely. I think he is a great player and a great personality. I think he has everything to win the next Ballon d'Or.

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    The Real Madrid midfielder was on target in Gelsenkirchen to take his international tally to four goals, becoming just the second player to score at both the World Cup and Euros before the age of 21 in the process.

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    Weghorst scored the fastest goal by a Netherlands substitute at the European Championships, netting the winning goal of the game just two minutes and 18 seconds after coming off the bench.

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