The USA have started their debut world cup campaign of to a flying start with a hard fought 32-20 win over the Cook Islands at a cold and wet Memorial Stadium in Bristol.
The game start off strongly for the Cook Islands with several chances in the opening few minutes and it was third time lucky for the Cook islands when Brad Takairangi opened scoring off an Isaac John kick.
The USA showed that they also have the skill after Bureta Faraimo scored off the back of a 40/20 from halfback Craig Priestly.
The USA then made it back to back tries through Hawaiian Fire Juggler Lelauloto Tagaloa but the conversion was missed from Joseph Paulo. Soon after a penalty goal from Paulo took the lead back out to 10-6.
As the game began to show it was a case whatever one team did the other side would reply not long after and that was the case when the Cook Islands replied through Canterbury Bulldogs back Drury Low to bring the scores to 10 all.
That was where the scoring ended for the first half but the second half was a repeat of the first half with both sides being repeating what happened in the first being that the USA scored through Joseph Paulo but then not long after the Cook Islands replied through Lulia Lulia but with both conversions being missed the scores were locked up at 14 all.
At times the game did get heated but there was no big eruption of fighting, just a few incidents of push and shove coming as a result of high tackles or other tackles.
As the game hit the hour mark the USA scored through Tui Samoa which was converted by Joseph Paulo but in true fashion on how the game was going the Cook Islands hit back through Dominique Peyroux to level the game up at 20 all.
However, it was the last ten minutes when the game opened up for the Tomahawks who scored twice through Mark Offerdahl and Craig Priestly plus a Joseph Paulo penalty goal to secure the 32 points to 20 win.
Both sides will be pleased and disappointed with aspects of their games tonight and will be looking to build on their next match with the USA having to back up on Sunday to take on Wales, while the Cook Islands have the tough task of having to take on Tonga on Tuesday.
United States 32 Cook Islands 20
Venue: Memorial Stadium
Halftime Score: 10 all
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Joseph Paulo
2 points - Craig Priestly
1 point - Isaac John