'We’re all pretty emotionally drained:' Mike Cooper discusses England's World Cup exit and shares his belief for future success
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Shaun Wane’s side suffered a 27-26 golden point loss against Samoa in the semi-final tie at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon, following Stephen Crichton’s winning drop-goal.
While Cooper believes he has now played his final World Cup game, he is backing the younger members of the England squad to deliver the trophy in future tournaments.
He said: “I’m shattered as you can imagine, completely devastated. There’s a lot of emotions, and personally it might the last time I play for my country, so it’s bad.
"It’s definitely the best opportunity we’ve had, and I think we deserved a lot more. We were sloppy and a bit off at the start of the game, and crawled it back, before slipping off again.
"There’s one thing you can’t doubt and that’s the spirit, courage and bravery of the players. We were behind for most of the game but we kept coming.
“The two mistakes at the end of the game was sort of the story of the afternoon.
"We weren’t a million miles, but we weren’t where we had been with that intensity.
"Credit to Samoa, they got there in the end and they got some unbelievable tries. The one near the sticks was like basketball style.
"I hope they go and get the job done now.
"It’s so hard now to think straight but they came out firing, and we weren’t exactly where we needed to be.
"Everyone has worked so hard. It’s team sport, you’re a fraction away from making history.
"I’m 34 now, the question (of playing in the next World Cup) will be taken out of my hands I presume.
"It’s been a long year, and we’re all pretty emotionally drained, I’m struggling to find the words, but we need to stay together as a group.
"We’ll see where we have gone wrong and will learn from it. There’s no doubt England will win a World Cup. With the team, the young kids and the coaching staff we’ve got we’ll win trophies in the future.”