The United States national team have won their first match against a tier one nation, mounting a huge second-half comeback to beat Scotland 30-29.


The match wasn’t decided until the 84th minute, and will go down as a famous victory for the United States.

Scotland – without several key players – opened the scoring after two minutes with Blair Kinghorn crossing, and scored twice more before the half after a penalty try and a George Turner effort.

The United States kept in touch through the boot of Sale Shark AJ MacGinty – who kicked two first-half penalties – and a try from Worcester prop Joe Taufete’e.

A Kinghorn penalty on the stroke of halftime gave the visiting Scotland a 24-13 advantage heading into the sheds.

The US came out firing in the second half in front of the Houston crowd, with Taufete’e grabbing his second try shortly after play resumed.

The big front-rower crashed over after taking a quick tap metres out from the try line.


Credit: Scottish Rugby

Another MacGinty penalty made it a one-point game, and a Hanco Germishuys try gave the US their first lead at the 60-minute mark.

The young South African-born loose forward has been a standout in the inaugural season of Major League Rugby, and proved just as effective at the international level.

Germishuys’ try was the United States’ third, equalling their amount of tries scored in all of their previous meetings against Scotland.


MacGinty’s conversion capped a perfect night from the tee – three conversions and three penalties – and put his side up 30-24.

The Americans had victory in their sights when Scotland had a try disallowed with just 12 minutes remaining.

Scotland pushed hard for a final opportunity to steal the match, and got their wish when replacement winger Dougie Fife went over in the corner after the final siren.

With scores at 29-30, Kinghorn had a chance to be the hero but his kick missed wide and Gary Gold’s USA Eagles claimed their first tier one scalp.

This is the seventh time these two nations have met, and the sixth time the fixture was capped. All of the previous meetings resulted in a Scotland win.

Scotland will now head to Uruguay and play Argentina to conclude their summer tour.

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