World Cup: US ‘defy belief’ to stun Wales 24-16

 

The Racecourse Ground

Something very strange is happening to the world of rugby league, with Wales crashing out of the World Cup and the United States eying a quarter-final place. A late surge could not prevent the Welsh, twice semi-finalists in recent years, bowing out in Wrexham with two defeats in their first two matches.

The Americans need only beat Scotland at Salford on Thursday and they will claim their place in the last eight, no matter what anyone else does. However, the Wales coach, Iestyn Harris, does not believe that the game should rub its eyes in  disbelief at this: “This World Cup has shown that you can’t tag anyone as a bad team. They’ve got some very good players who are playing at a very high level.” The former Castleford coach, Terry Matterson, a late and controversial appointment to lead the States side, admitted: “Two weeks ago I didn’t know any of these guys. What they are doing is defying belief.” 

The two sides matched each other, mistake for mistake, for the first 15 minutes, until a move of real quality put the Welsh ahead. Neil Budworth made the initial break and Christian Roets looped outside Rhys Williams to take the scoring pass.

The Americans would have been level quickly, but for Rhys Evans’ tackle on Taylor Welch after Joseph Paulo’s pass had put him away.  Paulo’s use of the ball was soon to pay off, however, as another perfectly-judged pass  put Clint Newton over.

Paulo, the Australian-raised stand-off, fashioned another try, seven minutes before half-time, sending Matthew Petersen over. Wales piled on the pressure at the start of the second half, but almost inevitably, they were hit with a sucker punch. Paulo launched a high kick, Rhys Evans spilled it and, on the next play, Paulo was there to plant it down and double the American lead.

Tui Samoa barged over for a fourth American try and Newton added his second.  Roets then scored a second try, followed by one from Anthony Walker, but it was too late to salvage any pride for the Old World.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links