England 32 Samoa 26

England's Sam Tomkins
England's Sam Tomkins

BROTHERS Joel and Sam Tomkins grabbed decisive tries as England opened their Four Nations campaign with a hard-fought victory in Brisbane.

Two tries by hooker Pita Godinet embarrassed England’s defence and put Samoa 22-20 ahead going into the final quarter.

But Joel Tomkins crossed unopposed to nudge Steve McNamara’s outfit four points ahead, the video referee awarding the try despite Samoan claims of a knock-on in the build-up.

And then brother Sam profited from a fortuitous loose ball to give England breathing space.

Even then it wasn’t finished, Samoan winger Antonio Winterstein powering beyond Wigan’s Josh Charnley to set up a nervous finish.

Tries by centres Michael Shenton and Kallum Watkins had helped England into a 14-10 lead at half-time.

Then Liam Farrell appeared to have put England firmly in control shortly after the restart when he finished a classy move, before Godinet’s double offered Samoa hope.

Warriors’ Matty Smith made his full England debut and his place-kicking was generally good - the goal-kicking duties were handed to his halfback partner, Gareth Widdop, who hit six goals.

Wigan and Test captain Sean O’Loughlin hopes to recover from a thigh injury to play next week.

England face Australia in Melbourne on Sunday, before going on to face New Zealand the following week.

The two highest-ranked sides qualify for the final.