Will Hooley kicked a last-minute penalty to give the USA Eagles a 30-29 win against Samoa in San Sebastian on Saturday.
It was the Eagles’ first-ever win over Samoa and brought an end to a five-game losing streak to their opponents.
Coach Gary Gold’s men started the match well, taking a 15-0 lead thanks to tries from hooker Joe Taufete’e and flank Hanco Germishuys, who latched onto a box kick from scrumhalf Ruben de Haas to run in out wide.
Samoa responded with prop Logovi’i Mulipola, wing Ed Fidow and scrumhalf Melani Matavao all scoring to put them ahead.
USA No 8 Cam Dolan managed to dot down just before half-time to narrow the scores at 21-20, but JJ Taulagi extended Samoa’s lead with a try just after the break.
Dolan then ran in an intercept try but Samoa again put a gap between the two sides with a penalty making it 29-27 going into the closing stages.
But the USA set up a maul and won a penalty, leaving Hooley to step up and win the match.
USA – Tries: Cam Dolan (2), Joe Taufete’e, Hanco Germishuys. Conversions: Will Hooley (2). Penalties: Hooley.
Samoa – Tries: Logovi’i Mulipola, Ed Fidow, Melani Matavao, JJ Taulagi. Conversions: Tusi Pisi (3). Penalty: D’Angelo Leuila.