Result: Joseph Paulo brace helps USA to victory over Cook Islands

The USA win their opening match at the Rugby League World Cup, beating the Cook Islands 32-20.

USA captain Joseph Paulo scored two tries during the team's 32-20 win over the Cook Islands in their opening match at the Rugby League World Cup.

USA's Matthew Petersen scores a try against Cook Islands during their World Cup match on October 30, 2013© Getty Images

The Cook Islands claimed an early lead when Brad Takairangi picked up a high kick before pouncing for the line, but efforts from Paulo and Bureta Faraimo ensured that the Americans were level at the break.

Paulo added his second at the start of the second half, but a strong spell from the Cook Islands resulted in tries for Lulia Lulia and Dominque Peyroux, which levelled the scores with less than 20 minutes to play.

The USA edged back in from when Paulo passed the ball out side for Mark Offerdahl, who found a gap in their opponents' defence to add the fifth try of the night for America, before a late effort from Craig Priestly sealed the result.

The USA face Wales in their next match in the tournament on Sunday, while the Cook Islands play Tonga on Tuesday.

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