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England v Samoa LIVE: Rugby World Cup result and final score as late Danny Care try prevents upset

England 18-17 Samoa: The Pacific Islanders were minutes away from a first ever win against England but were denied by Care’s late score

Ben Fleming
Saturday 07 October 2023 19:32 BST
France on 'serene' win over Italy in Rugby World Cup

Danny Care scored the winning try seven minutes from time to spare England’s blushes and complete a 18-17 victory over superb Samoa in their Rugby World Cup Pool D clash on Saturday.

Two tries from winger Nigel Ah-Wong had Samoa leading deep into the match, but their dreams of a first win over England were ended by poor discipline as they lost centre Tumua Manu to a yellow card and conceded repeated penalties that gave England the territory they needed.

England lost 30-22 to Fiji in a warm-up fixture ahead of the World Cup and may meet them again in the quarter-finals, where they will need an improved performance after a sloppy showing against Samoa where they made numerous handling errors and battled with the high tempo game of the Pacific Islanders.

England had secured top spot in Pool D but advance with a clean sweep of four wins after lock Ollie Chessum scored their opening try on a day when captain Owen Farrell broke Jonny Wilkinson’s points record of 1,178 as he kicked three penalties.

Follow all the action as England face Samoa in their Pool D match plus get all the latest Rugby World Cup odds and tips here:


England’s lucky escape can’t hide identity crisis threatening to derail World Cup

England turned a stunning half-time deficit into the most unconvincing of wins over Samoa to finish their 2023 Rugby World Cup pool stage campaign with a 100 per cent record but find themselves with far more questions than answers heading into the knockouts.

Before this summer, England had never lost to a Pacific Island nation but following a historic warm-up defeat to Fiji at Twickenham and this fortunate let-off in Lille, they seem to have developed an Achilles heel at the worst possible time. As a quarter-final rematch against the Fijians looms next weekend, barring any Portuguese heroics in the group-stage finale on Sunday evening, England have an identity crisis.

If Steve Borthwick’s side are looking for positive omens, they could perhaps latch on to the fact that the only time an England team had trailed Samoa at half-time in their previous eight victories came at the 2003 World Cup, when a 16-13 deficit in Melbourne became a 35-22 triumph by full-time. And we know how that tournament ended for the Red Rose.

But even the most optimistic of England fans surely won’t be mentioning the current side in the same breath as the World Cup winners and, judging by the boos that rang round Stade Pierre-Mauroy at full-time following the narrowest of escapes, there aren’t many optimistic supporters left.

Read Luke Baker’s report from this afternoon’s match in Lille:

England’s lucky escape can’t hide identity crisis threatening to derail World Cup

England 18-17 Samoa: Danny Care’s late try saw England avoid a historic defeat but they face huge questions ahead of the quarter-finals

Ben Fleming7 October 2023 19:28

That’s not all for tonight

England vs Samoa may be over but we’ve still got more rugby in store. Kick-off for the crunch clash between Ireland and Scotland is under way and you can follow it all on The Independent below:

Ireland vs Scotland LIVE: Latest Rugby World Cup updates

Ireland are looking to finish top of Pool B with Scotland needing to win

Ben Fleming7 October 2023 19:15

FULL-TIME: England 18-17 Samoa

That’s the end of the road for Samoa in this tournament but what a display to finish on. The result may not have gone their way but they gave it there all.

For England, the quarter-finals await. Fiji will most likely be the opponents and there will be plenty of work to do in the week based on that performance.

Ben Fleming7 October 2023 19:05

Owen Farrell, England’s captain, speaking after the game

“It was scrappy. Didn’t feel like the best from us but all the credit has to go to Samoa and the way they came out to fire shots at us. It was tough to deal with - we didn’t deal with it discipline-wise and with mistakes but I’m glad we found a way back in and a way to win.”

On breaking Jonny Wilkinson’s points record: “I don’t know what it means at the minute; I’m still thinking about the game and it will be like that for the next few days. but I guess it will be something I look back on a little bit further down the line.”

Ben Fleming7 October 2023 19:01

FULL-TIME: England 18-17 Samoa

Contrasting emotions at full-time:

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
Ben Fleming7 October 2023 18:58

FULL-TIME: England 18-17 Samoa

It was ugly but England have snuck through tonight in Lille. Here’s the match-winning moment from Danny Care off the bench:

Ben Fleming7 October 2023 18:52

FULL-TIME: England 18-17 Samoa

England learn their lesson and look after the ball for the remaining moments. It’s thumped out of play and England have won. Just.

Samoan players sink to their knees; how close they were to a famous victory.

Danny Care is the difference with his try and last-gasp tackle and England have a narrow win after a very disappointing performance.

Ben Fleming7 October 2023 18:49

England 18-17 Samoa

79 mins: And now perhaps a match-winning tackle from Care!

England have the territory and the ball but Steward needlessly kicks it away and Samoa surge up the pitch. From right to left they go and they look like they are about to over in the corner with Fomai but England are saved by Care’s remarkable last-ditch tackle.

So close for the Pacific Islanders.

Ben Fleming7 October 2023 18:47

England 18-17 Samoa

78 mins: Huge hit from Martin! Sopoaga is hanging back, waiting for the drop-goal attempt but the ball comes to him late and he’s forced to run it.

The English substitute meets him with a crunching challenge which dislodges the ball and gifts England back possession.

Ben Fleming7 October 2023 18:45

England 18-17 Samoa

76 mins: More scrums now as Samoa have the put in. Can they find a late score to wrestle back the victory?

Ben Fleming7 October 2023 18:43

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