Samoa, led by two tries from winger Nigel Ah-Wong, held a significant lead well into the match. However, their hopes of achieving their first-ever victory against England were dashed by their indiscipline.
They lost center Tumua Manu to a yellow card and repeatedly conceded penalties, ultimately granting England the field position they needed to turn the tide.
England had previously suffered a 30-22 defeat to Fiji in a pre-World Cup warm-up match. The prospect of facing Fiji again in the quarter-finals looms, and for that stage, they will need a much-improved performance following their somewhat lacklustre showing against Samoa. In this game, they grappled with numerous handling errors and found it challenging to keep pace with the Pacific Islanders’ high-tempo style of play.
While England had already secured the top spot in Pool D, they finished the group stage with an unblemished record of four wins.
Lock Ollie Chessum contributed England’s opening try, and on the same day, captain Owen Farrell achieved a notable milestone by surpassing Jonny Wilkinson‘s points record of 1,178, thanks to his successful conversion of three penalties.
(With Reuters inputs)