The Eagles survived a last-gasp conversion miss to hang on for victory over Gregor Townsends Scottish team

The USA rallied from 21 -6 down during the first half and 24 -1 3 at half-time to grab their first win over any tier-one international team, by a single point in a thriller.

The Eagles , now coached by former Worcester coach Gary Gold, took the lead for the first time with a try to the flanker Hanco Germishuys in the 60 th minute. Germishuys plays professionally elsewhere in Texas, for Austin Elite in the new Major League Rugby competition.

MLR players and those based overseas made this the most experienced Eagles team in the pro era, and a tough challenge for a Scotland team missing- though not entirely without- its established stars.

Eagles' fans had their hearts in their mouths on a hot Houston night as the US, leading 30 -2 4, repelled wave after wave of Scottish attacks in the final quarter. There was hope the home team had procured victory as they led by six points when the full-time siren sounded.

Dougie Fife scored an injury time try but Blair Kinghorn missed the conversion from out wide. Scotland had won all five previous Exams between the nations.

Scotland came into the test in confident mood after a 48 -1 0 win over Canada but aware the USA would pose much stiffer opponent after Americas Rugby Championship wins over and Argentina XV, Canada, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay and a heavy win over Russia in their first June international.

Coach Gregor Townsend built 12 changes to his lineup, handing debuts to George Horne and Matt Fagerson and devoting Jamie Bhatti, Lewis Carmichael, Luke Hamilton, Adam Hastings and George Turner their first starts. Full-back and double British Lion Stuart Hogg was captain for the first time, in his 61 st Test.

AJ MacGinty violates to set up what would be the USA's winning try. Photograph: David Gibson/ Fotosport/ REX/ Shutterstock

Scotland made a dream start when Kinghorn touched down after only two minutes and converted his own try for a 7-0 result. USA fly-half AJ MacGinty- employed by Sale in England- narrowed the lead with a penalty before Scotland ran farther ahead with criminal penalties try. Horne was denied a try on debut by a high tackle by the Eagles' Toulon No8 Samu Manoa, who was sent to the sin-bin and Scotland resulted 14 -3.

After another MacGinty penalty, Scotland hooker George Turner scored a try – his fourth in his last two tests after a hat-trick against Canada- which devoted his team a 21 -6 leading. The Worcester hooker Joe Taufete'e's first try immediately before half-time kept the USA in the match at 24 -1 3 and the hooker scored once again to make it 24 -2 0 at the start of the second spell.

The US made the front for the first time, 30 -2 4, with Germishuys' try with 20 minutes to go. After an exchange of kicks, MacGinty made a break and linked with the flanker who scored.

The Eagles saw themselves mainly on defense through the last quarter but maintained Scotland at bay until Fife dived over out wide. There was blis when Kinghorn's kick faded wide of the posts, giving the USA its first win over a major rugby power.

Read more: