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The final pool match of the 2013 World Cup has seen Samoa triumph 22-6 in a passionate and entertaining encounter over France in Perpignan.
Samoa struck early with Daniel Vidot crossing out wide - Antonio Winterstein adding the extras for a 6-0 lead which rang alarm bells from the hosts in France. It was the wake-up call they needed, with the French turning the game into an arm wrestle and eventually levelling the scores late in the first half through a crafty try to fullback Morgan Escare.
The first forty was dominated by heavy hits, referee Henry Perenara's hands full for much of the first forty with repeated infringements seeing several players with cases to answer to the match-review committee. The key moment in the first half was the sin-bin of Samoan interchange forward Mose Masoe, who copped the brunt of Perenara's wrath for a heavy hit.
Samoa lifted a gear in the second half, taking the lead in the 47th minute through fullback and man of the match Anthony Milford. France went on to mount plenty of pressure over the following 20 minutes but simply couldn't penetrate the Samoan line. The visitors then absorbed the pressure and retaliated at the other end with Pita Godinet stumbling through defenders to scored in the 62nd minute.
Junior Moors added a late try off a neat inside run for Samoa to push the score out to 22-6 near fulltime.
Both teams came into the match knowing they were through to the Quarter Finals - this contest means the French will head to Wigan to meet hosts England, while Samoa will face the Fijians in Warrington. The other quarter finals will see New Zealand play Scotland at Headingley, Leeds, while Australia come up against the USA Tomahawks in Wrexham.
France 6 Samoa 22
Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus
Halftime Score: 6 all
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Anthony Milford
2 points - Morgan Escare
1 point - Antonio Winterstein