Rugby: Thomas puts Eagles to flight

United States 20 Wales 30
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The Independent Online
Arwel Thomas contributed 20 points as Wales maintained their winning record against the American Eagles at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington last night.

The Swansea fly half scored the two second-half tries that killed off the home challenge, as well as contributing another 10 points with the boot. But Kevin Bowring, the Wales coach, was not totally satisfied with the performance. "We looked a bit rusty and gave away far too many penalties," he said. Wales play the Eagles again in the second Test in San Francisco next Saturday, and by then they intend to be a much improved young side.

They did make a flying start in the first Test, Thomas kicking an early penalty and wing Nigel Walker, back in favour after 27 months in the international wilderness, putting over for a try after strong runs by scrum half Paul John and the outstanding centre Gareth Thomas.

The Americans briefly took the lead with a try from their Tongan-born centre Tomasi Takau and a conversion and penalty goal from Matt Alexander. But once Wales went ahead again after half an hour, skipper Gwyn Jones profiting from another Thomas break, they took control.

It was left to Thomas to score all their remaining points, his two second- half tries both scored with pure impudence.

n Scotland ended their six- match tour of southern Africa with a deserved 36-10 win over Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth, leaving them with a 50 per cent tour record. Stand-off and captain Duncan Hodge kicked five penalty goals and three conversions for 21 points in total and a tour aggregate of 67.

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