Team USA defeats Wales, ties Canada in Day 1
The host team USA Eagles defeated Wales 19-12 in their first match of the tournament in Las Vegas. Folau Niua scored the match-winning try with over three minutes remaining in the second half.
The Eagles got off to a hot start, as a great passing play led to a Martin Iosefo try, and the conversion put the USA up 7-0. However, Wales quickly countered with a try by Jordan Williams, but a missed conversion kept the Eagles in the lead. Later in the half, Carlin Isles turned on the jets and beat out everybody for a kick downfield and planted the ball over the line to pad the USA lead. Right as the halftime horn sounded, Isles tried to score again, but was stripped of the ball. The Welsh found space and Tom Isaacs scored a try. The successful conversion brought the score even after seven minutes.
Wales was threatening early in the second half, but the Eagles were able to clear without any points against. The USA kept up the pressure inside the Welsh end, and were finally rewarded when Danny Barrett offloaded to Niua for a try up the middle to put the USA up for good. Wales looked to tie the match after the final horn, but Perry Baker knocked a pass out into touch to finish the match.
Canada’s furious second-half comeback gave them a 26-26 draw against North American rival USA Eagles. Phil Mack’s try in the final minute capped a three-try comeback in the span of mere minutes.
The Eagles wasted no time, scoring in the first minute on a Zack Test run down the touch line. A few minutes later, Perry Baker kicked to himself and burst down the opposite touch line for an easy try. There wasn’t a defender within 10 meters of him. Canada then got on the board with a try by Admir Cejvanovic, who proceeded to exchange words with Danny Barrett afterwards. The USA wouldn’t be done, however, as Martin Iosefo took the restart and scored right before the half.
Canada nearly scored to start the second half, but the ball was knocked out right before the try line. Out of the scrum, Baker ran the distance of the field for a coast-to-coast try. The USA looked to be in the driver’s seat up 26-7, but Canada was not done. Conor Trainor got the comeback started with a try cutting from the touch line to the middle. Shortly after, Nathan Hirayama cut the lead to 5 with a try under two minutes to play. In the final minute, Mack got over for the Canadians to tie it, but a missed conversion prevented Canada from taking the lead. Canada got very close to taking the lead after the final horn, but Test knocked the ball out of the air and into touch to finish the match.