Wayne Proctor, the Llanelli wing, saved Wales's blushes in San Francisco on Saturday as he ran in three tries, his first at Test level, to give the tourists a 2-0 series win over the American Eagles.
Proctor struck twice in the first half to help Wales to a 13-6 lead, but saved his best as he mesmerised his opposite number, Brian Hightower, and the full-back, Chris Morrow, with a touchline run of 30 metres.
However, it was a game which Wales could so easily have lost. Their line- out was poor, their work from kick-offs worse and it was only some brilliant defence which ultimately enabled them to hold the rampaging Eagles.
Arwel Thomas and Matt Alexander landed penalties for each side respectively in a dour first quarter before Proctor was sent clear for his first two tries after some thrilling play by the 20-year-old Pontypridd full-back, Kevin Morgan. Neither try was converted and Alexander brought the home team back to within one score with a second penalty on the stroke of half- time.
Wales lost their captain, Gwyn Jones, in the first minute of the second half with an ankle injury and Alexander and Thomas traded penalties again as the heat and pace increased. Then, midway through the second half, Jason Walker, the Eagles No 8, burrowed his way over from a five-metre scrum and Alexander's conversion levelled the scores.
It needed an immediate response from Wales and Proctor provided it with his thrilling burst down the touchline. Thomas converted, but then so did Alexander moments later after Wales had lost another restart and the wing, Vaea Anitoni, had crossed for a try.
With the game moving into its closing quarter, Arwel Thomas, who scored two tries the previous weekend, fortuitously found a way through to win the match for the visitors. The Swansea stand-off attempted a grub kick through the home defence but found his way blocked.
Fortunately for him the ball came back into his hands and he was able to run around the blind side and dive over in the right corner for the match-winner.
United States: Tries Walker, Anitoni; Conversions M Alexander 2; Penalties Alexander 3. Wales: Tries Proctor 3, A Thomas; Conversion Thomas; Penalties Thomas 2.
UNITED STATES: C Morrow; V Anitoni, T Takau, M Scharrenberg, B Hightower; M Alexander, A Bachelet; C Lippert, T Billups, R Lehner, L Gross, D Hodges, D Lyle, J Walker, J Wilkerson.
WALES: K Morgan (Pontypridd); W Proctor (Llanelli), L Davies (Cardiff), G Thomas (Bridgend), N Walker (Cardiff); A Thomas (Swansea), P John (Pontypridd); I Buckett (Swansea), R McBryde (Llanelli), L Mustoe (Cardiff), G Llewellyn (Harlequins), M Voyle (Llanelli), A Gibbs (Llanelli), N Thomas (Bath), G Jones (Cardiff, capt).Reuse content