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Samoa 43-10 Chile: Samoa begin Rugby World Cup with bonus-point win

Christian Leali'ifano
Samoa fly-half Christian Leali'ifano was Australia's top points scorer at the 2019 World Cup

Rugby World Cup: Samoa v Chile

Samoa: (19) 43

Tries: Paia'aua, Taumateine, Lee, Malolo 2 Cons: Leali'ifano 2, Sopoaga Pens: Leali'ifano 4

Chile: (10) 10

Try: Dittus Cons: Videla Pens: Garafulic

Samoa began their Rugby World Cup campaign with a bonus-point win over Chile in Bordeaux.

Chile took an early lead through a try from Matias Dittus, but Samoa regained control at the end of the half.

Former Australia fly-half Christian Leali'ifano kicked 14 first-half points with a late try from Duncan Paia'aua.

Samoa put in a dominant second-half performance, scoring four tries through Jonathan Taumateine, Fritz Lee and two from Sama Malolo.

The Pacific island nation, who had an initial rest week, are seeking their first quarter-final since 1995, with what is one of their strongest squads assembled, proven by a narrow final 17-13 warm-up defeat by world number one side Ireland in August.

Samoa recruited former All Blacks Lima Sopoaga, Steven Luatua and Charlie Faumuina before the World Cup due to a change in World Rugby eligibility rules. But it was the boot of Leali'ifano that was instrumental in keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

The 35-year-old, who started for Australia in their quarter-final loss to England four years ago, pulled the strings in Samoa's attack, with the pick of tries coming from Paia'aua's well-measured grubber kick in the midfield.

Chile became the first team to debut at a World Cup in 12 years when they took to the pitch in Toulouse against Japan last week and, like the game against the Brave Blossoms, could only show glimpses of their attacking style.

Fly-half Rodrigo Fernandez was at the heart of this and set up the opening score of the afternoon with a break, but struggled to have as much impact in the second period.

Sterner tests lie ahead for Samoa, who will be quietly growing in confidence but will likely need to beat two of Argentina, Japan or England for a realistic chance of a knockout return.

They are next in action against the Pumas in Saint-Etienne on Friday, while Chile travel to Lille to face England next Saturday.

Line-ups

Samoa: Paia'aua; Toala, Seuteni, Manu, Ah-Wong; Leali'ifano, Taumateine; Ja Lay, Lam, M Alaalatoa (capt), Vui, McFarland, Agaese Seu, Lee, Luatua.

Replacements: Malolo, Jo Lay, Alo-Emile, Slade, Taufua, Enari, Sopoaga, Fidow.

Chile: Ayarza; Videla, Saavedra, Garafulic, Larenas; Fernandez, Torrealba; Carrasco, Dussaillant, Dittus, Huete, Pedrero, Sigren (capt), Saavedra, Martinez.

Replacements: Escobar, Lues, Inostroza, Eissmann, Escobar, Silva, Videla, Casas.