29 Oct 2013

Kiwis beat Samoa in World Cup opener

6:34 am on 29 October 2013

New Zealand has beaten Samoa 42-24 in their Rugby League World Cup opener in Warrington, with wing Manu Vatuvei bagging a hat-trick.

Four tries in the opening 23 minutes gave the Kiwis a 22-4 half-time lead - although the Samoans hit back with four straight second-half tries of their own, to close to within 12 points.

But in the end the World Cup holders got home comfortably, despite Sonny Bill Williams embarrassingly slipping as he went to score a try in his first test since 2008. The Rugby World Cup winner's feet hit the dead ball line after he made an impressive break, and before he could ground the ball.

France can feel fortunate to have beaten Papua New Guinea 9-8 in Hull in Monday morning's other game.

The Kumuls missed a late kickable penalty, and with it, the chance to win the match.