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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411