Like Spartans were born to fight, the Welsh were born only to play rugby — it’s the only thing they’re good at, except for tourism, and harp playing. So imagine the surprise when the U.S. National Team beat Wales 24-16 in the Rugby League World Cup second round earlier today. The U.S. is now 2-0, and looks a cinch to make it to the knockout round. Last week they beat the Cook Islands, which was also an upset. It’s the U.S.’s first appearance in the World Cup.
The U.S. meets Scotland (also 2-0) on Thursday.
Let’s revel in some rugby vernacular:
Samoa took full advantage of Wales’ defensive frailties and dragged several players with him over the try line — the video referee called to confirm he had placed the ball down correctly.
Paulo succeeded with his first conversion of the afternoon before Newton scored his second try of the game.
Craig Priestly broke forward and he found Newton in support to score a fifth American try, which was converted by the impressive Paulo to extend the lead to 20 points.
Wales’ World Cup dreams were slipping away and their afternoon was summed up when Kear, in sight of the try line, knocked on.
Yes, they use video replay (in your face, soccer). And yes, they’re named the Tomahawks: just what we need, another Native American controversy.
It should be noted that the U.S. team is made up mostly of Australian-based players, who can play for the U.S. because they are originally from American-Samoa. But most are also amateurs, and are shocking experts because most of their opponents have many professional players. France, which the U.S. beat in a pre-tournament friendly last week, is considered a national powerhouse.
Oh, and, controversy.
Just to correct uninformed comments by Wales coach Iestyn Harris about the USA team. We had ten USA nationals and residents on field today.
— USA Tomahawks (@USATomahawks) November 3, 2013
— Martyn Sadler (@MartynSadler) November 3, 2013