19 Oct 2022
Match in Pictures: Wales 12-18 Cook Islands
Cook Islands trailed at half-time but fought back to edge a hard-fought Group D encounter
By Andrew Lawton at Leigh Sports Village
Steve Marsters scored ten points as Cook Islands came from behind to beat a stubborn Wales 18-12 in their opening Rugby League World Cup match in Leigh.
Right wing Marsters caught Brad Takairangi’s kick midway through the second half as Cook Islands overturned a four-point half-time deficit and consigned Wales to an eighth straight World Cup loss.
Rhodri Lloyd and Super League veteran Anthony Gelling had exchanged early tries before Oliver Olds’ fine solo effort saw him beat two defenders and restore Wales’ six-point lead.
The deficit was cut to four points by a Marsters penalty on the stroke of half-time with Davvy Moale giving Cook Islands the lead for the first time on the hour mark.
A Marsters try sealed the much-needed victory, with his side set to face Papua New Guinea in a pivotal Group D fixture on Tuesday in Warrington.
Here's the story of the match in pictures...
The Cook Islands perform the Pe’e Haka ahead of the game (Getty Images)
Rhodri Lloyd celebrates going over for Wales' opening try (Getty Images)
Anthony Gelling sprints in to level it up for the Cook Islands (Getty Images)
Dominique Peyroux looks to escape the attentions of Rhodri Lloyd (Getty Images)
Ollie Olds dives over for Wales' second try (Getty Images)
Davvy Moale powers over for Cook Islands on the hour mark (Getty Images)
Steven Marsters scores the decisive try in the corner after expertly claiming a chip (Getty Images)
Wales captain Elliot Kear cuts a dejected figure after the full-time whistle (Getty Images)
Johnathon Ford celebrates with his Player of the Match medal (Getty Images)
The Rugby League World Cup promises to be the biggest, best and most inclusive event in the sport’s 127-year history with men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams competing in 61 games across 21 venues throughout England. Tickets are available via rlwc2021.com/tickets