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Sonny spill embarrasses in Kiwis' opener

Many predicted Sonny Bill Williams to feature heavily among the memorable moments of the Rugby League World Cup, but this surely wasn't what they had in mind.
Sonny spill embarrasses in Kiwis' opener
by AAP

By Liam FitzGibbon

LONDON, Oct 27 AAP - Many predicted Sonny Bill Williams to feature heavily among the memorable moments of the Rugby League World Cup, but this surely wasn't what they had in mind.

The Kiwi superstar, the tournament's star attraction, was left red faced after producing one of the biggest howlers in recent rugby league memory in New Zealand's 42-24 victory over Samoa on Sunday.

The dual international, in his first game for the Kiwis since the Anzac Test of 2008 after defecting to union, looked set to cap a solid performance with a try after splitting the defence 12 minutes to play.

He crossed the line totally free of pressure but, inexplicably, casually strode deep into the in-goal area before slipping and putting a foot into touch before he could ground the ball.

Williams' look of embarrassment told the story before the try was officially disallowed by the video referee.

The ruling was met with jeers from the near-14,000 fans packed into Warrington's Halliwell Jones Stadium who had been baying support for a spirited Samoa side.

Williams' gaffe came on the back of a brilliant bust and ultimately meant little in the context of the game, but it nonetheless showed an alarming level of casualness from the Sydney Roosters star.

Fans were quick to turn to social media to ridicule Williams while he was sure to cop it from his national teammates in the dressing sheds.

Williams had been strong throughout the match defensively, while two of his trademark offloads led to tries.

His howler provided further entertainment in an already-thrilling Group B match that also featured a hat-trick to Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei.

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