Samoa showed that if things click, they can produce points, as they secured a quarter final spot and put France to the sword, winning 62-4.
It did not take long for Samoa to assert some authority and score as Jarome Luai’s deft kick found Tim Lafai who won the race to the ball to score.
Quick hands down the right hand side saw the Samoan side capitalise on a missed French opportunity.
Brian To’o was the scorer and the recipient of the quick passing, highlighted by a flick pass from Joseph Suaalii.
Luai and Anthony Milford then combined as Milford’s quick hands produced a bullet-like pass for Taylan May to score the first of his four tries.
To’o and May then combined for the next Samoan try as To’o broke a tackle, offloaded and found May who ran 45m for his second try of the game.
Another simple shift play to the left this time saw May finish the half with three tries, his third the easiest of the lot.
Luai was again involved when he was able to offload for Danny Levi to hit the jets, before the hooker found May for his fourth try.
May’s fourth try equalled the Samoan record of most tries in a game with four, a record also held by David Nofoaluma.
France had no answer for the quick hands on either side as the right got involved once more.
Stephen Crichton found his Penrith Panthers teammate in To’o who merely coasted away to score.
France would trouble the scorers as a fortuitous ricochet saw Fouad Yaha pounce on the ball but this would be the only French try.
Milford then got on the scoresheet when he collided with Pierre Laguerre forcing him to drop the ball, before Milford then reached out to score.
Lafai then showed brute strength for his second, as he took the pass from Chanel Harris-Tavita and carried defenders over the line with him.
An attempted strip by France went wrong as the ball came free and Harris-Tavita was quickest to reach to scoop it up and score.
Royce Hunt’s offload then saw Milford hit a yawning gap and he raced away to score his second try.
Samoan coach Matt Parish was pleased to win by a big margin and he specially proud of his side’s forwards for laying the platform.
“Pretty happy to win any Test match by that scoreline,” Parish said.
“I thought our forwards were enormous.”
France coach Laurent Frayssinous does not want this final loss to define his side’s World Cup campaign as they now build for 2025.
“I don’t want that scoreline to summarise our World Cup,” Frayssinous said.
“We have to put the scoreboard in context.”
Samoa 62 (May 4, Lafai 2, Milford 2, To’o 2, Harris-Tavita; G: 9) def. France 4 (Yaha).
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Jarome Luai
2. Tim Lafai
1. Taylan May.