Olympic and world champions the United States got their women's intercontinental water polo campaign off to a solid start in Auckland last night.

However it was not before having to work hard to subdue a plucky Brazil, 9-4, in the opening group A game of the tournament, from which leading teams will progress to the world league super final in Shanghai in June.

At halftime it was 3-3, but any hopes Brazil had of upsetting the US disappeared in the third quarter which the US won 5-0.

Three players, Melissa Seidemann, Makenzie Fischer and Courtney Mathewson, scored twice each with other goals coming from Colleen O'Donnell, Madeline Musselman and Kameryn Craig.

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In the other group A game, China started and finished strongly to beat Kazakhstan 13-6.
A 5-2 opening quarter laid the groundwork for China; the final quarter was won 4-2.

World No 2 Australia kicked off group B with a 17-6 beating of Japan, a 5-1 final quarter enhancing the eventual margin.

There were three goals apiece for Gemma Beadsworth, Hannah Buckling and Rowena Webster, with two each for Holly Lincoln-Smith, Zoe Arancini and Nicola Zagame.

Hosts New Zealand were beaten 15-7 by Canada in the final game of the opening day.

A 5-0 blowout in the second quarter marred for New Zealand what was otherwise an encouraging night's work. The lost the other three quarters each by a solitary goal.

''It's not too bad," New Zealand coach Attila Biro said. ''I'm not happy but the game was okay and hopefully we will get better and better."

Sarah Landry and Jasmine Myles scored three goals apiece for New Zealand with late call-in Liana Dance getting the other.

Emma Wright and Monika Eggens scored three each for Canada, with Shae Fournier, Carmen Eggens and Dominique Perrault scoring twice each.

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