Planet Rugby

Wales hammer Argentina

16th November 2013 16:21

Share:

halfpenny

Twenty points: Halfpenny

Four-try Wales impressed to overcome a fatigued Pumas side 40-6 in an entertaining Test at the Millenium Stadium on Saturday.

Scores from Mike Phillips, George North, Toby Faletau and Ken Owens coupled with twenty points from the boot of Leigh Halfpenny were too much for a Pumas team that failed to capitalise on their early opportunities.

Where last week, against South Africa, Wales lacked a clinical element in attack, on Saturday they took the chances their play created, and quickly racked up a handsome lead.

Both teams began with plenty of enterprise in attack, and a high-tempo, offloading game was the order of the day. The Argentines had the better of the first-half, and indeed were briefly a man up after Justin Tipuric was sin-binned for tackling a player without the ball.

Sparkling runs from Santiago Cordero and a lovely chip and chase from captain Juan Leguizamon put the visitors in good attacking positions, but errors and good Welsh defence shut them down time and again.

It was from one of these attacks that Wales broke away to open the scoring. A loose Argentine pass on the home 22 was scooped up by Phillips, who raced home untouched, aided by the supporting run of North.

That added to an early Halfpenny penalty, and the full-back converted for a 10-0 lead inside the opening ten minutes.

The British and Irish Lions Man of the Series knocked over another three-pointer, before a textbook training maneouvre off a line-out in the visitors' 22 allowed Phillips and North to combine again, with the latter powering through the defence for Wales' second try.

Argentina continued to press, and in fact played most of the rugby in the first half. They eventually got on the board with a Nicolas Sanchez penalty, but that was soon cancelled out by another three-pointer from Halfpenny, taking the scores to 23-3 at half-time.

The second-half started slowly, with a penalty apiece for Halfpenny and Sanchez, but it well and truly burst into life on 56 minutes.

Faletau broke off the back of a Welsh scrum on half-way, the ball was spread wide to Halfpenny running the sweeping outside channel, and Liam Williams was put away up the left-hand-side.

He drew covering full-back Lucas Amorisino and sent the number eight galloping home for the game's third try.

Halfpenny converted, and Wales were left to cut loose in the final quarter. The match opened up and became scrappy as both sides began to tire, and fatigue looked to be an issue throughout for an Argentine side embattled by a lengthy and grueling season.

The hosts scored another effort, this time via a powerful driving maul, through replacement hooker Owens, which - surprise, surprise - was converted by Halfpenny.

Argentina, to their credit, continued to try things and play through the hands right to the death. While unquestionably guilty of trying to play too much rugby in the wrong areas of the pitch, Los Pumas showed some tidy stuff, with Cordero and Marcelo Bosch involved.

The game began to peter out in the final ten minutes; Samson Lee was yellow-carded late on for cynical play, and neither side was able to add to the scoreline.

A morale-boosting and much needed victory for Wales, then, while a ragged Argentina are left to lick their wounds after another disappointing loss.

Man of the Match: Leigh Halfpenny was typically outstanding, and Mike Phillips recorded his best performance in a Welsh jersey for some time. But number eight Toby Faletau was at the heart of all Wales' tight grunt and attacking verve. His try was just reward for a performance that reaffirmed how important he is to the Dragons and Welsh rugby.

Moment of the Match: Faletau's try was the pick of the bunch, and extinguished any faint hopes of an Argentine comeback.

Villain of the Match: A few niggles, but nothing malicious to report.

The scorers:

For Wales:
Tries: Phillips, North, Faletau, Owens
Conversions: Halfpenny 4
Penalties: Halfpenny 4
Yellow cards: Tipuric, Lee

For Argentina:
Penalties: Sanchez 2

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton (c), 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Gethin Jenkins
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Ryan Jones, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Ashley Beck

Argentina: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Juan Leguizamon, 7 Pablo Matera, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Eusebio Guinazu, 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Santiago Iglesias, 17 Nahuel Lobo, 18 Matias Diaz, 19 Tomas Lavanini, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Gabriel Ascarate, 23 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615