Samoa bemoan lack of RLWC send-off

Samoa coach Matt Parish has labelled experienced referee Ashley Klein "weak" after he failed to send Angus Crichton off in the Rugby League World Cup final.

Samoa's fairytale run to the final ended at Old Trafford on Saturday (Sunday AEDT) in a 30-10 defeat at the hands of the Kangaroos.

But the most controversial moment came in the 45th minute when Crichton was carrying the ball and he braced for contact with Samoa hooker Chanel Harris-Tavita.

The Australian back-rower cocked his elbow and made contact with Harris-Tavita's jaw and the Samoan No.9 was knocked out, falling instantly to the ground.

Harris-Tavita said his last memory was Samoa's pre-game Siva Tau.

"I didn't even know we were playing in a final," he told AAP.

"They said we beat England last week and I couldn't remember that."

Klein sent Crichton to the sin bin but Parish argued there should have been a stronger punishment.

"Five minutes into the second half and our hooker gets elbowed in the head and carted off," Parish said.

"The referee made a weak decision to put him in the bin. (I'm) dumbfounded.

"An elbow to the head and he's taken out of the game."

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga scoffed at Parish's suggestion that Crichton should have been sent off and, in the player's defence, the whistle had been blown.

Crichton sought out Harris-Tavita after the game to apologise and he will be hopeful that any suspension doesn't extend into the early part of the NRL season.

"It was a reaction, I didn't know he was coming," Crichton said.

"There was no malice in it at all. I apologised to him after the game and he knows that I didn't try to injure him.

"I'm a good person who plays the game the way it is meant to be played."