Sun 10 November

Kukis sign off with a win

Kukis sign off with a win

Wales 24, Cook Islands 28

Liam Williams

At The Gnoll


Cook Islands survived a second-half fight back from Wales to record their first-ever World Cup win.

The Kukis made the most of Wales’s errors in the first half and led 16-4 at the break with tries from Daniel Fepuleai, Keith Lulia and Isaac John, with the solitary Welsh try coming from Rob Massam.

Despite conceding the first try of the second half from Dominique Peyroux, Wales hit back with back-to-back touchdowns from Lloyd White, Christaan Roets and Rhodri Lloyd to leave them trailing by two points with 10 minutes to play. However, Jonathon Ford sealed the win despite a late score from Lloyd.

Wales struggled to get their hands on the ball in the early stages and after numerous mistakes, which saw them face repeat sets; they were punished when hooker Fepuleai dived over the line from dummy half.

The home side hit back after forcing Pittman into touch. Massam received Rhys Evans’s pass and went over in the corner to reduce the deficit to two points.

Wales looked to have carved out another opening when Peter Lupton put Ross Divorty clear but play was pulled back for a forward pass.

Keith Lulia, playing his last match on British soil, extended the Islanders lead following a fine move when Zeb Taia found the centre from a quick play-the-ball with the Welsh defence too slow to react.

John, taking the ball at first receiver, jinked through the Welsh defence to score the Kukis’s third try on the stroke of half time.

Wales conceded another penalty as Keith Lulia broke towards the line before having the ball stripped in the tackle, with the resulting set of six bringing a try for Peyroux and a third successful conversion from Chris Taripo.

Wales gave themselves a lifeline when White dummied from the play-the-ball before diving over the line to score, before adding the extras himself to cut the deficit.

The Dragons clearly gained momentum following the try and put pressure on their opponents’’ line. Lupton found Roets who went over and Danny Jones hit the post with his conversion attempt to leave them two scores behind going into the final quarter.

With little over 10 minutes remaining Wales scored another try, this time through Lloyd, and incredibly the conversion by Jones again hit the post.

But the Cook Islands put an end to any hopes of a comeback when the video referee confirmed a try by Ford under the posts.

The home side looked to have given themselves a glimmer of hope when Lloyd broke free before offloading to Roets who scored his second try of the game in the corner, but it was too little too late.



1 Elliot Kear

2 Christaan Roets

3 Rhodri Lloyd

4 Rhys Evans

5 Rob Massam

6 Danny Jones

7 Peter Lupton

8 Ben Flower

9 Neil Budworth

10 Jordan James

11 Ross Divorty

12 Tyson Frizell

13 Larne Patrick


14 Lloyd White

15 Craig Kopczak

16 Gil Dudson

17 Anthony Walker


Cook Islands

1 Lulia Lulia

2 Christopher Taripo

3 Brad Takairangi

4 Keith Lulia

5 Rea Pittman

6 Jonathon Ford

7 Isaac John

8 Dylan Napa

9 Daniel Fepuleai

10 Zeb Taia

11 Tupou Sopoaga

12 Dominique Peyroux

13 Tinirau Arona


14 Sam Brunton

15 Anthony Gelling

16 Joseph Matapuku

17 Adam Tangata


Referee: Richard Silverwood (England)

Wales Tries: Massam, White, Roets, Lloyd. Goals: White, Jones

Cook Islands Tries: Fepuleai, K Lulia, John, Peyroux; Goals: Taripo 3

Attendance: 3,270


Kukis sign off with a win Cook Islands survived a second-half fight back from Wales to record their first-ever World Cup win


Rugby League World Cup
Sat 23 NovNew Zealand 20-18 England
Sun 17 NovSamoa 4-22 Fiji
Sat 16 NovEngland 34-6 France
Fri 15 NovNew Zealand 40-4 Scotland
Mon 11 NovFrance 6-22 Samoa
Sun 10 NovWales 24-28 Cook Islands
Sat 09 NovEngland 34-12 Fiji
Fri 08 NovNew Zealand 56-10 Papua New Guinea
Thu 07 NovScotland 22-8 USA
Tue 05 NovTonga 22-16 Cook Islands

more results