Reigning Junior World Championship holders England's defence began with a promising 63-3 victory over Italy in Pukekohe on Monday.
Wing Nathan Earle secured an entertaining hat-trick and loose forward James Chisholm a key brace. Earle epitomised the pace of the runaway back-line, while Chisholm basked at the foot of a dominant pack.
Italy were entirely outgunned, as the potential of scrum-half Simone Parisotto and flyhalf Filippo Buscema's combination was rendered futile by numbers one through eight.
The Italians lost several scrums, including the opening three of the one-sided fixture. Their line-outs were not much better - and prop Derrick Appiah's yellow card for a slew of offside infringements capped the disappointment.
The bonus-point triumph catapulted the English straight to the helm of Pool A, fueling early suggestion of a repeat title.
The large margin of New Zealand's 48-12 success at the QBE Stadium in Auckland didn't reflect the nature of Samoa's staunch performance.
Characteristically flamboyant through the backline and aggressive up front, the Samoans were ultimately let down by an inability to match the opposition's stamina.
Indeed, half the men in black's six tries came in the closing five minutes. New Zealand centre Jackson Garden-Bachop was instrumental throughout, highlighting a fine performance with several sniping runs - and two tries.
Goal kicker Simon Hickey, coming off the bench, enjoyed a superb cameo - and suggested first-choice flyhalf Richard Mo'unga be sidelined for a substantially bigger challenge against South Africa at the same venue on Thursday.
The Samoans were, at least, consoled by centre Nathaniel Apa's penchant for finding the gap - and flank Lakisipone Lee's outstanding work in the lose.
In another other high-scoring Pool C affair, in Albany, South Africa had too much firepower for Scotland, running ot 61-5 winners. Jesse Kriel and Lloyd Greeff both scored a brace of tries and captain Handre Pollard contributed 14 points, via seven conversions. Aidon Davis, Sergeal Petersen, Warwick Gelant, Pierre Schoeman and Malcolm Marx also scored tries.
Scotland's only points came through a try by Damien Hoyland which was the first points scored in the match.
Australia got off to a fine start with a 36-17 victory over Argentina, in the tournament opener in Pukekohe, with fly-half Jake McIntyre contributing 16 points via the kicking tee. Argentina put up a brave fight and trailed 16-10 at half-time but Australia took control of the match after the break with Andrew John Kellaway leading the charge with a brace of tries.
In Pool B, Wales proved too strong for Fiji, winning 48-19. The match got off to an exciting start when Wales' left wing Dafydd capitalised on a Fijian mistake from the kick-off to gather the ball and score after just seven seconds.
Wales' dominance continued from there and they added five further tries. Fly-half Angus O'Brien contributed 18 points via four penalties and three conversions.
And in the closest match of the day France edged out Ireland 19-13 in Albany. Ivan Roux scored a try for France in the 31st minute but Cian Kelleher struck back with a five-pointer for Ireland five minutes later.
Baptiste Serin slotted two penalties and a conversion for France and Ireland's other points came via penalties from Ross Byrne and Conor McKeon, and a conversion from Byrne.
Two drop goals from fly-half Brandon Fajardo sealed France's victory.