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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.

Posted at 10:35 am | 14 comments

Viewing 14 comments

TapperJones November 18, 2013 2:47 pm

Generally speaking I'm quite happy with this performance.

To score four tries to nil and finish with a 40-6 scoreline is decent. Further, considering the injuries it was nice to see some new blood coming through successfully. Liam Williams looks one for the future and Corey Allen had a solid debut (shame about the injury). Some of the established boys played well too. AWJ put in a big performance and Hibbard's energy and physicality never ceases to amaze me. Phillips also deserves a mention especially as the last few weeks must have been difficult for him.

However, Argentina are clearly not at their best. It's been a long old season for them and they haven't won anything of note since this fixture last year. Wales were lucky not to go down a try or two in the first twenty, but the defence settled well afterwards. So I'm not sure what kind of a barometer this match was.

The Springbok game last week was frustrating, not because of the loss per se, but because we never looked like scoring despite all the possession and territory we had. Although the Puma win was a good one, I feel Wales are no better than they were 2 years ago. I'm not sure if this is because of players/squad depth/Gatland's tactics/confidence or just because we're not as good as we think we are.

I think a lot rests of the Australia game (if we lose again I don't see how we can claim to be better than the Wallabies). Form-wise I'd say England are looking a bit better than Wales, but in terms of players I'd probably say when fully fit Wales are the 3rd best team in the world. Still, we have a long way to go to seriously challenge NZ and SA in the world cup. And that group is going to be brutal...

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RugbyCoachNic November 18, 2013 4:22 pm

Good performance by Wales but the try by North off the line-out should have been called back. North clearly is within 10m and moving before the ball moves off from the jumper. Surprised missed by the TMO, Wales I don't thing they can ever claim they are hard done to by referees(Philips try vs Ireland).

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Hendogo November 18, 2013 4:25 pm

No it was not a good performance by Wales. Argentina is a bad team. I think they are vastly overrated. You should crush them. Lets see Wales beat an actual good team then. I tip my hat to you. I'm not saying Wales is a bad team, but Argentina suck.

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mondongo November 20, 2013 8:26 pm

participa en algo y despues habla, vos estas sobrevalorado.

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Dom November 20, 2013 9:10 pm

Wales beat Argentina far more easily than England, so if wales' performance was 'not good', what was Englands? Australia only beat them by 1 point at home in the RC. New Zealand beat them by 15.

Argentina are not a bad team, and it was definitely a good performance by Wales.

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ruckinmaul November 18, 2013 5:06 pm

The problem with Argentina backline is Sanchez. He plays so flat that the runner need to run sideways to adjust the angle. Always running sideways and not creating a gap for the runner. Overrated.

I reckon, there are only 4 to 5 international players left in Argentina right now, Lequizamon, Alabacete, Bosch, Fernandez Lobbe. All others are well past their prime. Albacete well past his prime so as Hernandez.

I really don't know what happen to Argentina rugby at the moment. Perhaps the coaching staff need to change as well.

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jaded forward November 18, 2013 6:24 pm

I really like it when there are so many tries that they don't waste valuable highlight time showing kicked points. All that was missing was another Gethin Jenkins beauty from ~30m out.

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WelshOsprey November 18, 2013 6:35 pm

Good win. Biggar got that backline flowing so well, hope he starts against Australia.

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Canadian content November 18, 2013 11:52 pm

I thought the pass from phillips to north looked suspiciously forward. Was it looked at by the TMO. God I hate phillips, showboating on his first try.

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Ando November 19, 2013 12:53 am

What's up with the Millennium Stadium pitch? I've seen paddocks in better shape... Is this the latest Welsh ploy to try and beat a Southern Hemisphere powerhouse?

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katman November 19, 2013 12:47 pm

Murrayfield was just as bad on the weekend.

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Bowie November 19, 2013 10:40 am

The pitch at the MS is a disgrace. I really hope they just bite the bullet and lay down some astroturf as not only does it ruin a game when you get players slipping all over the place, it's also dangerous e.g scrums and Liam Williams against SA last week slipped on his arse as he tried to tackle Bismarck and got steam rolled at the same time taking a shot to the head (not Bismarcks fault - cracking run by him).

I could see this wasn't a strong Argentina team but still chuffed Wales got a 34 point margin without conceding a try as Wales looked like they had another couple of gears in them. Hoping we have a strong squad to give Oz a good crack, damn shame we lost JD so early against South Africa - seemed to take all the sting out of our attack - would have liked to have seen our strongest team have a go at them win or lose.

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wendon November 20, 2013 6:43 am

What's with this pointing before you score? It says "I am a jerk".

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Bowie November 21, 2013 11:57 am

He was checking with North that he was running to the right area ;)

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