The United States sent Wales crashing out of the Rugby League World Cup on Sunday with a 24-16 win at Wrexham which set the Tomahawks up for a likely quarter-final showdown with Australia.
The Welsh, the tournament co-hosts and semi-finalists in 1995 and 2000, were beaten 32-16 by Italy in their opening group match and were poor again on Sunday with Newcastle-bound NRL forward Clint Newton crossing for 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 coach Brian Smith left 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, who played State of Origin for NSW and won two premierships with Brisbane. "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 with Italy in Workington.