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Monday, November 18, 2013

Wales break Autumn International hoodoo with win over Argentina

Wales put last weekend's loss to South Africa behind them as they beat Argentina 40-6 to win their first Autumn International in four years. They scored four tries as Argentina looked out of sorts and struggled to hold out the Six Nations champions.

Scrumhalf Mike Phillips got things underway with a long range intercept try, before he set up George North with an excellent inside ball that the fellow Lions back finished off well. Number eight Toby Faletau got on the end of a lovely move, while Ken Owens rumbled over from close range.

Leigh Halfpenny kicked eight out of nine attempts on a day that pleased coach Warren Gatland.

"There were a few things, like some opportunities we missed, and that is ten or 15 points, but you are always looking for the perfect performance," he said.

Leading 23-3 at the break, the win appeared to be in the bag and all Argentina could muster was another penalty to flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez.

"We got the buffer and the lead, but what was pleasing was that players saw the chance to play what was in front of them. Players moving the ball from their own 22 or goal line, that is what we are trying to develop.

"We created lots of chances, but a couple of times the final pass might have seen us score a couple of more points. I have to be satisfied, with the few injuries we have had, but we have adapted to that," Gatland added.

Debutant Cory Allen dislocated his shoulder and will be out for some time, while Scott Williams suffered toe ligament damage. Scarlets prop Rob Evans has joined the squad ahead of Wales' next game, against Tonga on Friday night. They then face the in form Wallabies.

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