Wales: 30
United States: 22

  • Gary Preece (13),
  • Stuart Williams (25),
  • Stuart Williams (29),
  • Stephen Halsey (31),
  • Stuart Williams (39),
  • Harry Jones (46),
  • Gary Preece (59),
  • Andrew Higgins (61),
  • Scott Trigg-Turner (67)
United States:
  • Jeffrey Townsend (8),
  • Mackenzie Johnson (11),
  • Jeffrey Townsend (19),
  • Matthew Wooloff (36),
  • Jeffrey Townsend (54),
  • Jeffrey Townsend (72)

  • Stephen Halsey (5/6),
  • Andrew Higgins (2/3)
United States:
  • William Johnstone (3/4),
  • Micah Stewart (1/2)

  • Stephen Halsey,
  • Gary Preece,
  • Jodie Boyd-Ward,
  • Stuart Williams,
  • Martin Lane,
  • Alan Caron,
  • Harry Jones,
  • Andrew Higgins,
  • Mark Williams,
  • Scott Trigg-Turner
United States:
  • Mackenzie Johnson,
  • Jeffrey Townsend,
  • Micah Stewart,
  • William Johnstone,
  • Matthew Wooloff,
  • Tony Leboutillier,
  • Jesse Lind,
  • Andy Kingsley,
  • Gabi Cha,
  • Jensen Blaine

Match report

Coach Stephen Jones said an electric atmosphere helped Wales edge a pulsating clash with USA 50-32 to reignite their hopes of wheelchair semi-final qualification.

In a free-flowing game in Sheffield, Wales responded magnificently to losing heavily against France only three days previously to down the Hawks and blow Group B wide open.

The Dragons led by eight points at the end of a breathless first half, Stuart Williams scoring a hat-trick of tries.

And four further scores after the break left the USA unable to respond, giving Jones’ team victory in what was a must-win game.

“Everyone targeted this game,” said Jones. “We knew that France would be hard.

“We did some video analysis, put France behind us, and treated this as the first game of our tournament really.

“We came together for this tonight and fair play to my team for coming back like that. That atmosphere was something else, we’ve never had a crowd like that before.

“People I think would have realised what a sport this is after watching this tonight. The crowd gave us everything and it does gee the players up I think that gave us some extra energy.”

Jones’ team were thumped 154-6 by France in their opening game of the tournament but showed real character to fight back in their second encounter.

USA flew out of the blocks with two tries in the opening ten minutes, but weren’t able to sustain their fast start.

They were led by talismanic skipper Jeff Townsend, who weighed in with an all-action performance and four tries, but they may need to get something against the all-conquering France to have any hope of making the last four.

“I thought we did pretty well,” said USA coach Geoff Mason. “Wales have been around for a good while and it showed in the second half.

“All credit to Wales but my guys tried to the very end and put in a tremendous effort.

“The team will be disappointed in the dressing room, but we’ll get stronger and it’s a great learning experience for us.

“We were just beaten by a better team, the team listen and they’re great to coach.”

Both sides showed attacking intent early on, but it was USA who took the lead when skipper Townsend dotted down under the posts.

They had a second try when Mackenzie Johnson hunted down a superb kick from Jesse Lind, grounding the ball to give the Hawks scoreboard supremacy.

But Wales hit back when Gary Preece’s clever dummy opened up the space for his first score of the tournament.

Suddenly the Dragons looked to be growing in confidence, Williams then taking centre stage with a sensational 14-minute hat-trick just before the break, Stephen Halsey also going over as Wales turned the tables on the USA.

Wales’ Harry Jones very nearly put the game out of reach for the Hawks but was halted by a brilliant piece of last-ditch defending from skipper Townsend.

But only a few minutes later Jones managed to evade the USA captain and stretch over the goal line for a well-worked try, his second of the tournament having scored in the defeat against France.

Townsend kept the Hawks within touching distance by completing his own hat-trick try, only for quick thinking from Mark Williams to give Preece a simple task for his second.

Andrew Higgins then crossed to give Wales real breathing space before a wonderful burst from Scott Trigg-Turner all but ended the contest.

Townsend added his fourth late on but it would prove no more than a consolation for the Hawks.

They face France in their final group game next, while Wales take on Scotland, who lost 80-15 to the defending champions earlier, with both knowing the winner will likely claim a semi-final spot.

“Scotland are a class team so we can’t take it lightly,” added Wales’ Jones. “They did well today against France and will come out firing against us.”