Samoa have made a slow start before outclassing World Cup debutants Chile 43-10 with backline craft and forward power to get their tournament off to a winning start at Stade de Bordeaux.
Los Condores delighted the massed ranks of their exuberant fans by scoring the opening try of the match through prop Matias Dittus and Samoa needed the place-kicking of former Wallabies star Christian Leali'ifano to creep ahead towards the end of the first half in Saturday's (Sunday AEST) pool D encounter.
Tries from fullback Duncan Paia'aua and halfback Jonathan Taumateine immediately before and after halftime gave the Pacific islanders some breathing room and two tries from rolling mauls then secured the bonus point.
Despite having two players sin binned, the Chileans continued to fight and had the better of a scrappy final quarter until Samoa's reserve hooker Sama Malolo scored his second try late on with yet another rolling maul.
Chile's breakout star of the tournament so far has been their No.10 Rodrigo Fernandez, a running flyhalf with a wicked sidestep who got Los Condores going with a slick show and go down the left that led to the early try for Dittus.
It continued a theme from this tournament of the underdogs scoring first and fast.
"It's hard to put it in words to be honest. This is such an amazing feeling. I feel so alive," Chile captain Martin Sigren said, despite the loss.
Samoa were just too strong, though, a constant threat with their direct, aggressive running as Chile conceded a string of penalties while trying to stop them which Leali'ifano steadily converted into points.
Leali'ifano, eligible after World Rugby permitted players who stand down from internationals for three years to change allegiance, turns 36 at this tournament and has
overcome leukaemia on the way to an unlikely second chapter in his Test rugby career.
The Wallabies' leading points scorer at the 2019 World Cup provided the steady hand Samoa needed in what turned into a scrappy encounter as both sides wearied in the heat, and survived a monster tackle late on from Domingo Saavedra.
While the game was short on quality at times, it featured running rugby from both sides, tries, some big hits and the haircut of the tournament in Samoan scrumhalf Taumateine's bleached platinum blonde mullet.
Such a bold look demanded a performance to match and Taumateine delivered, bustling over in the corner after the break and flinging the ball into the crowd in delight with some
fans still taking their seats.
There is little substitute in rugby for raw power and Samoa's told in the end, their maul proving too much for Chile and setting a marker for their remaining opponents.
Samoa next face Argentina on September 22 , while Chile play pool D frontrunners England on September 23, having already used up their best two shots at a shock first World Cup win.