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Samoa bounce back with big win over Greece

Jarome Luai of Samoa looks to break past Johnny Mitsias and Myles Gal of Greece. Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Prop Josh Papalii says Samoa needed to take a look in the mirror after their opening Rugby League World Cup hammering.

They responded by smashing minnows Greece 72-4 in Doncaster on Sunday.

The Samoans had kept a low profile after they were thumped 60-6 by hosts England in the opening game of the tournament.

They now face France in a shoot-out in Warrington next week, with the winner to advance to the quarter-finals.

The only sour note to the emphatic victory was a suspected knee dislocation for Manly prop Josh Aloiai, who left Doncaster in a brace after coming off in the first half.

Despite his absence Samoa pushed on to put 13 tries on a Greece side who never stopped trying.

"There were frank conversations," Papalii said of the week following the England loss.

"We had to be really honest and cut-throat. Injuries don't help but we'll reassess and focus on France now.

"We know we've got a lot of support, last week everything just came out wrong.

"Everyone can talk and everyone has an opinion. I frankly don't care.

"If we win next week we're back in the quarters and finals is a different type of footy."

Samoa coach Matt Parish said his side weren't concerned with how they started the tournament, but rather how they finished.

"Last week wasn't our grand final, the last game is our grand final whenever that is" he said.

"We're preparing for a long campaign and we want to be there in week five or six."

Samoa responded perfectly as they attempted to right the wrongs of their loss to England against a Greek side low on NRL talent.

Brian To'o scored off the first set and Papalii, captain Junior Paulo, Danny Levi, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Royce Hunt, Jarome Luai and Tim Lafai all crossed the line to give Samoa a 40-0 lead at half-time.

Lafai, Harris-Tavita and Levi added one apiece after half-time as Mat Feagai, Fa'amanu Brown and Stephen Crichton joined them on the scoresheet.

Parish said Harris-Tavita picked up a cork and he will be lucky if Jaydn Su'A is passed to play after a shoulder charge led to him being sent to the sin bin late in the game.

Samoa could well have had more points were it not for the desperation of Greece winger Siteni Taukamo, who stopped three certain tries in the first half.

"I don't think we let anyone run by today," said Greece coach Steve Georgallis.

"Even when they made a break, we turned up.

"I'm proud and can't fault their effort. I know the scoreline doesn't suggest it but we improved."

Greece got the loudest cheer of the night from the 4415-strong crowd when South Sydney halfback Lachlan Ilias scored their only try with a sublime piece of skill.

The No. 7 chipped over the top for Jake Kambos, who turned the ball back inside for Ilias to cross and ensure Greece didn't go home scoreless.