Victor Radley says he was happy to get one up on camera operators at the Rugby League World Cup, after previously being caught out not knowing the words to the England national anthem.
The Australian-born NRL star - who qualified to represent England through his British father - is preparing for England's crunch semi-final clash against Samoa, with the winner earning a shot against Australia in the final.
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Radley was a high-profile defection to Shaun Wane’s England side and admitted that he didn't know the words to 'God Save the King', during their warm-up game against Fiji before the tournament kicked off.
The Roosters star's secret was cheekily exposed by a cameraman, who lingered on Radley while the rest of his England teammates belted out the anthem before kick-off.
Radley revealed that he copped a grilling over the anthem faux pas from the rest of the England squad, who made sure he didn't make the same mistake again.
“Against Fiji in the warm-up game, I never thought about it once until we went out and then I thought ‘oh we’ve got to do the anthem’,” Radley told Fox Sports.
“I didn’t know the words and someone must have filmed it, so they got into me at review. All the coaching staff and team made me stand up and then they sang me the anthem.
“I wasn’t letting that happen again, so I made sure I learnt the words. It’s actually quite easy, I’ve learnt the words and now I’m all good.”
Radley proved the point in the opening game of the World Cup against Samoa, after struggling to hold back his laughter when another cameraman focused on him during the anthem.
“They stopped and came back to me and I thought they’re trying to catch me out here. But they had to be better than that because I knew the words, I got them.”
— Niko Pajarillo (@NikoPajarillo) October 15, 2022
England bracing for Joseph Suaalii threat
England blazed to a 60-6 victory over Samoa in the tournament's opening game but Radley said the hosts are expecting a much tougher game, singling out his Roosters teammate Joseph Suaalii as the biggest threat.
"Joseph is a freak, he is a young freak, and he has played so well for us at the Roosters this year," Radley told reporters in England.
"He has been good for them in this tournament, he has been their best player and he is going to run hard.
"We know what is coming and we are going to get in front of him and hit him hard. But he is a really good player, very tough and skilful.
"Everyone says once in a generation but he is and we are going to have to do a job on him. We have looked at him and we will take care of it."
Suaalii was a standout in Samoa's tense quarter-final victory over Tonga, running nearly 240 metres, notching five tackle-busts and making a break that set up the winning try.
Samoa a 'better team' than the one trounced in opener
Despite that chastising defeat in the tournament's opening game, the Samoans are confident they can turn the tables on their more fancied hosts.
"Yeah, we've learnt from that obviously, it was a bit of a clunky preparation for us with guys coming in at different times, but no excuse," Samoa assistant coach Daniel Holdsworth said.
"We all sort of own that result, a bit of accountability for everyone across the board, including coaches and players. So, we've grown throughout the campaign.
"We feel like we're a better team now. We know England are going to be better too, so we're prepared to get out there and give our best."
Samoa beat Tonga 20-18 in the quarter-finals while England easily dispatched Papua New Guinea 46-6.
"They've been outstanding the whole time," Holdsworth said of England. "They have aspirations to definitely win this World Cup and get to the final. Would be huge for their country.
"So I'm assuming they're looking forward to that. But again, we're obviously here to win as well."
The winner of England's semi-final against Samoa plays Australia in next weekend's final at Old Trafford, after the Kangaroos edged New Zealand 16-14 in a tense last-four clash.
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