FORMER Saint Stanislaus' College student Senio Toleafoa got his Rugby Union World Cup campaign off to a winning start on Tuesday night as part of Samoa's 34-9 victory over Russia.
Samoa were given a scare by the Russians when Rey Lee-Lo and Motu Matu'u were both sin-binned for high tackles, leaving them with just 13 men on the field at one stage.
Russia used the numbers advantage to get themselves out to a 6-5 lead at the break, courtesy of two Yury Kushnarev penalties.
The Russian advantage was quickly extinguished in the second half as the revamped Samoans ran in five tries to take a comfortable win.
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Samoa's first half situation could easily have been worse after Lee-Lo and Matu'u were penalised for high tackles on Vasily Artemyev.
They avoided being sent off, with Artemyev deemed to be dipping into the contact, and once the Samoans returned to a 15-on-15 situation their fitness was telling.
Alapati Leiua and Ed Fidow each ended the game with two tries each.
Toleafoa came off the bench in the victory over Russia.
The result has taken Samoa to an early lead in Pool A.
Samoa will be against the odds to progress out of the pool, which also contains hosts Japan plus Ireland and Scotland.
Toleafoa and the Samoans are gearing crucial tie against Scotland on Monday night in Kobe.