The US hammered Spain 36-7 while Wales threw away a 14 point lead as England battled back to win their opening game 34-19 in pool D. Coming into Hong Kong in the unusual position of being tournament favourites, Mike Friday’s Eagles laid down a marker on Friday night. Stephen Tomasin ran in down the left within the first minute and Matai Leuta soon went over to make it 10-0. Barely 20 seconds had passed before Martin Iosefo easily intercepted the ball and crossed, and Tomasin found another pocket to burst free and go over after the hooter had sounded, with the Eagles up 22-0. Carlin Isles showed a quick turn of pace down the right with less than a minute gone in the second half, leaving Spanish defends for dead and running home to extend the lead to 29-0. Spain finally had something to smile about when Josh Taylor offloaded to Alejandro Sanchez De La Rosa Hernandez, who burst through the middle and scored under the posts, before substitute Brett Thompson scored a breakaway try to give the US a final flourish. England got off to a flier with Will Muir crossing but Joe Goodchild soon went over for Wales. After some sustained pressure, Wales went ahead with Tom Rogers scoring and Luke Treharne converting. Rogers then went over for his second after the hooter to give Wales a half-time lead of 19-5, with England left scratching their heads at such a poor start. But Dan Norton wove some magic early in the second half to get England back in it, and Michael Ellery powered in down the left wing to get England within two points. Captain Phil Burgess then stole the ball from a lucky bounce after Wales hesitated and ran in to big cheers in Hong Kong Stadium. Ellery than added his second down in the right-hand corner before William Edwards scored a breakaway try to add some gloss to the scoreline.