Cook Islands claim final place at 2021 World Cup

James Gordon

Cook Islands are the 16th and final nation to confirm their place at the 2021 World Cup in England after beating USA.

They ran out 38-16 winners in the final qualifying match, held at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

The Pacific Islanders raced in to a 12-0 lead thanks to tries from Troy Dargan and new Warrington centre Anthony Gelling.

Tries either side of half-time from Matt Shipway and Hull winger Bureta Faraimo dragged the Hawks back in to contention, and when St Helens back-rower Dominique Peyroux was sinbinned for a dangerous tackle, they looked like favourites.

But the Cooks scored through captain Alex Glenn when down to 12 men, and they ran away with the game in the final quarter to seal their place at the World Cup.

The 2021 World Cup draw will take place on November 27th, two years out from the final.

Qualified teams: Australia, Cook Islands, England, Fiji, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Lebanon, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Scotland, Tonga, Wales