Samoa coach Matt Parish and stand-in captain Sia Soliola hailed the near sell-out crowd at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington on Sunday.
Parish said: “The Warrington crowd was fantastic. To hear that crowd sing Samoa was amazing. I know I was touched by it, and I’m sure the boys were too.”
His new team-mate Soliola, standing in for skipper Harrison Hansen, also led from the front.
He said: “Playing over here, I know how passionate the rugby league fans are. My heart goes out to Warrington, to that crowd and the way they got behind us.
“Like Matt said, it was touching. I can’t explain it, it was unreal.”
In what was a memorable second half, Samoa had a try initially flash up as a no try from the video referee, and Sonny Bill Williams was left embarrassed when he slipped over the dead ball line for what looked a certain try.
Soliola added: “You don’t see that often, especially not from a player like Sonny as well. That was someone looking after us upstairs.
“It was quite funny with the try and no try too, I’ve not seen that for a while.
“I went up to question why it wasn’t a try and Richard (Silverwood) explained quietly that it was a try but he’s (the video referee) pressed the wrong button, so I went back and started screaming its a try, so I don’t know whether the boys heard me or not!”
If Samoa finish runners up in Group B, they will return to the Halliwell Jones Stadium for a quarter-final later in the tournament.
Photo courtesy of www.swpixrlwc2013.com