AUSTRALIA started their World Cup campaign with a gritty 18-4 win over England and Saturday sees another six teams have their first shot.
Rounding out the Super Saturday, Fiji routed the USA in Townsville.
See how all the action unfolded in our rolling Rugby League World Cup blog below.
WORLD CUP WRAP
So, we did it. Three games in the bag, seven hours of rugby league action. I feel alive again.
Here’s all the info from today’s matches.
PNG have put 50 on Wales in a dominant display in Port Moresby – but a biting allegation has marred the record-breaking performance: http://bit.ly/2hhDeDl
New Zealand sparkled at times in a 38-8 win over Samoa with Shaun Johnson and Nelson Asofa-Solomona the stars: http://bit.ly/2gImkNk
Fiji have breezed past Fiji 58-12 in Townsville and look like they’ll cruise to the knockout stages: http://bit.ly/2xw9uss
FULLTIME: FIJI 58 USA 12
A good performance from Fiji, albeit one where they took the foot off the gas a little.
The NRL performers meant the Bati were a class above from the jump – Kevin Naiqama was excellent early while Aku Uate was the best player on the field.
The Americans tried hard, but were out matched – managing to land two tries was a fine effort for the Hawks.
Joe Eichner, a Toronto Wolfpack alumn, was their best as he ripped off a number of crunching tackles.
72nd minute: VAIVAI GETS ACROSS
The USA have their second! Mark Offerdahl nearly gets over, pulls off a quick play the ball and Tui Samoa fires a pass out to Junior Vaivai, who crosses in the corner. Fair play to the USA, they’ve given this the good old college try. Faraimo nails it from touch, great kick, Fiji lead 58-12.
So close. USA get the ball back from a Fiji error, Freed puts a kick in, Naiqama doesn’t get there in time and Vaivai swoops on the ball to run away to score. If given, it would have been one of the tries of the tournament. But Vaivai had left the field of play and didn’t put his foot inside the lines before regathering – a weird and little used rule. No try.
FULL TIME: NEW ZEALAND 38 SAMOA 8
Samoa get another one right on fulltime, Joe Paulo dived on a Joey Leilua kick.
A good performance from New Zealand, one of their best under David Kidwell. Shaun Johnson, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Kodi Nikorima were their best.
The Ken Maumalo error that led to the Brad Takairangi try really took the wind out of Samoa’s sails and they were starved of possession and field position in the second half. Bringing in Nu Brown in the halves and changing up some of the forward rotations will put them in good stead for next weekend’s blockbuster against Tonga.
71ST MINUTE: NASTY NAS IN YA AREA
Well that was something! Nelson Asofa-Solomona looked to brought down a couple of metres from the line but the big fella managed to stretch riiiiiiight out and put it down. He might be the only player in the world tall enough to have scored that. Johnson converts and NZ lead 38-4