(Cardiff, Wales) 30 August 1999 -- Wing Allan Bateman's three-try performance paced Wales to a 54-23 win over a United States XV today at the Millenium Stadium.
The hosts opened up a 29-3 halftime edge through a second-quarter scoring flurry, before the Eagles fought back with three second-half tries in a fast-paced, high-scoring affair. Lacking quite a few front-line players, the match little resembled a lopsided US loss to England a week ago at Twickenham.
"We achieved the most important goal we set out to achieve, and that was to play 80 minutes of tough rugby. I think three second-half tries demonstrated there was no quit in us," US coach Jack Clark said after the match.
"Still, we let in a few soft tries in what appeared to be a five-minute interval of insanity."
Flyhalves Stephen Jones and Mark Williams traded penalty goals in the opening 10 minutes, before British Lion Bateman and fullback Neil Boobyer scored opportunistic tries two minutes apart. Trying to play constructive rugby, the US replied with several good rushes into the Welsh end, but thrice knocked on in promising position.
At 33 and 37 minutes, Wales again scored in quick succession, again through Boobyer and Bateman, the latter twice jumping up from tackles in scoring on a 20-yard broken-field run. Poor US restarts often put the Eagle defense under immediate pressure.
In the second half, the US tried to maintain a handling game but leaked tap-move tries to opportunistic scrumhalf David Llewellyn before finding its rhythm. US halfback Kevin Dalzell figured in two of the USA's scores, setting up tries by Kurt Shuman and Tom Takau.
After Welsh flanker Geraint Lewis grabbed an overthrown lineout to run in an easy try, US center Juan Grobler closed out the match with a converted score.
Final: Wales 53 United States 24 (halftime, Wales 29-3)
United States: Tries: Kurt Shuman, Tom Takau, Juan Grobler
Cons: Mark Williams (2), Kevin Dalzell
Pens: Mark Williams
Wales: Tries: Allan Bateman (3), Neil Boobyer (2), David Llewellyn (2), Geraint Lewis
Cons: Stephen Jones (5)
Pens: Stephen Jones
Referee: Brian Campsall (England)
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