There were plenty of players with a Canberra Region Rugby League connection in action during the first weekend of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Jordan Rapana and Travis Robinson both enjoyed wins for New Zealand and Lebanon respectively but Terry Campese and Paul Vaughan’s Italy were beaten by Ireland.
The USA, who have former Rugby League Record columnist Matt Walsh in their squad, also suffered defeat as they went down to Fiji.
Jordan Rapana got New Zealand off to a flying start as the former Queanbeyan Blues winger scored the opening try of the match. The current Dally M Winger of the Year ran 122 meters from 13 carries, as New Zealand managed a 38-18 win over Samoa.
Lebanon managed to claim their first ever World Cup victory with a 29-18 win over France at GIO Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Former Queanbeyan Kangaroo Travis Robinson played his part for the Cedars as he grabbed a crucial try on the verge of halftime before ending the match with his second for the afternoon.
The news wasn’t as good for Italy as current Queanbeyan Blues captain coach Terry Campese was ruled out with a calf strain before kick-off. Still boasting former Gungahlin Bulls and North Canberra Bears junior Paul Vaughan, the Azzuri went down to Ireland 36-12. Despite this, Vaughan managed to run 138 meters and make 33 tackles.
The USA struggled against a powerful Fiji side as they suffered a 58-12 loss. Tomahawks halfback Matt Walsh wasn’t selected to play.