You are here

Jack Megaw photo

After needing a furious comeback to salvage a draw against France in the opening match of the tournament, Team USA made quick work of Wales in the follow-up effort, winning 47-5. The emphatic victory improves the USA to 1-0-1, with the pool decider left against Argentina. 

Wales looked the sharper unit early on, with the USA turning the ball over deep in its own end and compiling a couple of penalties, allowed Wales to poke through after a quick-tap from five meters out. But it was all USA after that.

The Eagles won the ensuing restart, and the Welsh were punished for exhaling. Perry Baker spotted a gap in what looked like a sound Welsh defensive line, sliced through it and glided under the posts. The American try was converted, and the Welsh one wasn’t, putting the Eagles in the lead. They wouldn't relinquish it.

Martin Iosefo stepped on the gas and breached the Welsh line without being touched for the next score. The opportunity was setup by a monster counter-ruck from Folau Niua, which provided the possession.

Maka Unufe leapt to swat back the next kickoff, and Ben Pinkelman was lying in wait. He hauled in the tapped ball before chewing up the grass directly in front of him for the USA’s third score right on halftime.

Wales put together a long possession to start the second half, inching its way into the attacking end. But Baker forced a knock-on, earning the ball back for the Americans. After a couple of touches by Baker and a heavy carry from Barrett, Matai Leuta offloaded to Unufe for another score. Leuta’s sharing was rewarded in short order, with Tomasin tapping back the restart, Niua picking it up on the trot and offloading to the big man for the try.

Carlin Isles came on at the wing and seemed bullish on making a personal impact. He got held up in a tackle at one point, initiated a leg drive and literally carried his defender a few steps before going to ground. He’d setup the next try, squeezing the rare offload to Iosefo for a score. Isles dotted down himself shortly thereafter, getting the ball seven meters from pay dirt.