Wales rebound against Argentina

p>Wales rebounded from a disappointing loss to South Africa to clinch a record
40-6 win over Argentina with a clinical display at the Millennium Stadium on
Saturday.

The result snaps an 11 match losing streak in the Autumn Internationals for
Wales that started in 2009.

Tries in the first half by Mike Phillips and George North were followed by
scores from Toby Faletau and Ken Owens in the second half while Leigh Halfpenny
kicked 20 points.

The victory ended Wales’ dismal run of results in their autumn internationals
having gone almost four years without a victory at this stage of the year, since
last beating the Pumas in 2009.

Argentina could only managed two penalties for Nicolas Sanchez in a display
marred by errors that condemned Los Pumas to an eighth straight Test defeat,
their worst run since 1936.

Both teams had made four changes from last week’s defeats to South Africa and
England but it was Wales who looked more settled amid a frantic start.

Early work by Sam Warburton, Richard Hibbard and North resulted in Halfpenny
kicking the opening points after six minutes.

In contrast, Argentina made an error-strewn start and despite a promising burst
by lock Manual Carriza, handling errors in midfield gifted Phillips the game’s
first try.

Fly-half Nicolas Sanchez fumbled possession under pressure from Hibbard and
into the hands of Phillips who ran 70 metres to score, with the retreating defenders
distracted by North’s supporting run. Halfpenny converted for a 10-point lead
after as many minutes.

However Argentina showed flashes of promise, not least their 19-year-old wing
Santiago Cordero, who stepped through six red shirts.

Dan Biggar eventually covered to clear the danger but flanker Justin Tipuric
was spotted tackling Horacio Agulla, winning his 50th cap, off the ball to earn
a yellow card.

Sanchez failed to capitalise when his penalty kick struck the post and Santiago
Fernandez dropped the rebound, while Halfpenny ensured Wales escaped the 10-minute
sin bin in credit with a second penalty.

Argentina continued to make mistakes and were carved open by a move straight
from the Wales training pitch.

Alun Wyn Jones tapped possession from a lineout to Phillips and the scrum-half
then flicked a reverse pass to the onrushing North who burst through, beating
Agulla, to score under the posts and hand Halfpenny a simple conversion.

Sanchez finally got Argentina off the mark after half an hour with a penalty
that was cancelled out by Halfpenny on the stroke of half-time when Wales led
23-3.

The hosts got off to a thunderous start after the break with Biggar and Scott
Williams launching an attack from their own try line that released North only
for the giant wing to be eventually denied a score in the corner.

Wales took some consolation with Halfpenny’s fourth penalty before combining
once more for Faletau’s try on 56 minutes.

The No 8 launched the move from the tail of a scrum in midfield while long
passes by Biggar and Williams stretched Argentina. Wing Liam Williams brushed
off one tackler before finding Faletau inside with a scoring pass. Halfpenny’s
conversion effectively ended the contest with Wales well ahead 33-6.

Wales had their tails up with Phillips, Biggar and North full of running but
it was their pack who combined for the fourth and final try as replacement hooker
Owens claimed his first Test try when he finished a perfectly executed driving
lineout.

Final Score Wales 40 Argentina 6

Scorers

Wales t
Tries – Phillips, North, Faletau, Owens
Pen – Halfpenny (4)
Con – Halfpenny (4)
Drop –

Argentina to follow.
Tries –
Pen – Sanche

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