Samoa have avoided a quarter-final clash with England after beating France in a bruising encounter in front of a record-breaking crowd in Perpignan.


A competitive first half, with tries from Daniel Vidot and Morgan Escare, saw the sides go in level at the break. However the half was overshadowed by several late tackles on the French playmaking pair of William Barthau and Thomas Bosc which resulted in Mose Masoe being sent to the sin bin.


Samoa regained their discipline in the second half and ran in tries through Anthony Milford, Pita Godinet and Junior Moors, with French handling errors preventing the hosts building any real momentum to test the Samoans.


The visitors started brightly with Ben Roberts dictating play. A scrambled pass found its way to Vidot who evaded the tackle of Barthau to go over in the corner.


Barthau then found himself on the receiving end of two late tackles, the first from Leeson Ah Mau and the second from Sauaso Sue a minute later, leaving both Samoans on report and referee Henry Perenara warning captain Iosia Soliola about repeat offences.


France then proceeded to make a complete hash of what appeared to be a certain try when Frederic Vaccari and Vincent Duport competed with each other to collect a high-bouncing ball which saw neither bring the ball down to score.


Not heeding the referees warning, tempers eventually boiled over as Masoe hit Bosc late to leave the half back needing the physio for a second time and led to the Samoan prop being sent to the sin bin.


France capitalised on their numerical advantage when Escare took Jean-Philippe Bailes sharp pass before cutting inside and touching down. Bosc levelled the scores with the conversion.


Samoa then saw a third player put on report after a dangerous tackle from Roberts to give France another penalty.


However, the home side failed to make the most of the situation and were fortunate to go into half time level as Samoa were denied a try when a pass from Roberts was deemed forward with Antonio Winterstein and Tim Lafai free out wide and the line at their mercy.


The Samoans regained the lead early in the second half following an inspired passage of play involving Pita Godinet and Milford, which saw the full-back jinking through the French defence to score under the posts.


France looked to have hit back when Baile drove over in the corner but the video referee ruled that the ball had not been grounded but had been stripped and awarded the home side another penalty but once again they werent able to capitalise.


Soliola was the next player to be put on report for tripping Barthau, to give France a third penalty in five minutes.


The windy conditions began to play a part, preventing France from making the most of their penalty. They knocked on, leading to a third Samoan try when Godinet escaped the grasp of Remi Casty to go over the line and extend their lead.


Roberts, who prevented Escare breaking down the wing with a perfectly-timed ankle tap, looked to have turned try maker as his grubber kick was pounced on by Antonio Winterstein, but the video referee ruled that Moors was guilty of obstruction in the build-up.


Samoa put the game to bed when Moors ran onto a short Godinet pass from dummy half to dive over the line with Milford putting converting to give his side an unassailable 16-point lead.


Referee: Henry Perenara (New Zealand)


France 6 Try: Escare. Goal: Bosc


Samoa 22 Tries: Vidot, Milford, Godinet, Moors. Goals: Milford 3.


Attendance: 11,576