Tournament minnows on course to face the might of Australia.
The United States sent Wales crashing out of the World Cup on Sunday with a 24-16 win at Wrexham which gave the Tomahawks a likely quarter-final clash against Australia.
The Welsh, the tournament co-hosts and who were semi-finalists in 1995 and 2000, were beaten 32-16 by Italy in their opening group match and were poor again on Sunday with former Hull KR forward Clint Newton scoring two of the Americans’ five tries.
Captain Joseph Paulo scored a try and kicked two goals for the US who beat the Cook Islands in their tournament opener.
“It’s a bad result but, as the World Cup has shown, I don’t think you can tag anybody as a bad team because come the World Cup they come from all over the world,” said Wales coach Iestyn Harris.
“There wasn’t one USA man in the whole squad. There’s a lot of Australian-based players in there who are of a very good quality.”
The Tomahawks’ squad were only formed at short notice and saw coach Brian Smith leave on the eve of the event.
But they have won five matches in succession, following their Colonial Cup double over Canada and their 22-18 warm-up victory over France.
“I’m really proud,” said new coach Terry Matterson. “I didn’t know these guys until two weeks ago and they’ve worked really hard in that time.
“To come here against a good Welsh team with everything to play for. They were playing for their World Cup and threw everything at us. It was an outstanding performance, the boys keep defying belief to be honest.
“We’ll keep our heads down and keep working hard and worry about the next game against Scotland.”
The Scots drew 30-30 against Italy in Workington.