First Test: Wales Stun Argentina in San Juan

10 Jun 2018
First Test: Wales Stun Argentina in San Juan

A young Wales team defied the odds to record a stunning 23-10 victory over Argentina in San Juan.

With a number of senior players rested Warren Gatland's young guns outplayed their more experienced hosts and will look to go complete an unbeaten summer campaign next weekend. Tries from James Davies and George North plus 13 points from Rhys Patchell and Gareth Anscombe was enough to secure their first victory in Argentina since 2004.

All Argentina could muster was a try from Tomas Lezana while Nicholas Sanchez and Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias scored five points from the kicking tee. This was a victory built on a watertight defensive effort which was polished off by some scintillating back play.

Sanchez got Argentina on the board after a mere three minutes with a straight forward penalty after Wales infringed at the breakdown. Wales' opened their account with a magnificent try from openside flanker Davies.

With the visitors camped just out side the home side's 22 the ball was spread left by Patchell to Hallam Amos who put in a sumptuous offload which sent the Scarlets star over the line. The Pumas responded with a period of sustained pressure on the Welsh try line.

After a series of powerful forward surges Santiago Garcia Botta forced his way over the try line. But the television match official ruled out the try with footage showing Cory Hill and Rob Evans' hands underneath the ball.

Argentina kept knocking on the door but try scorer Davies was able to relieve pressure with an expert turnover on the floor. With Wales finally back in the opposition half scrum half Gareth Davies broke clear off the back of a lineout before drawing his man and releasing North who ran in their second try.

Patchell further extended Wales' lead with a penalty from 40 metres out after Hadleigh Parkes had stripped the ball in a tackle. As the first half entered its closing stages Wales were put under severe pressure by their hosts but showed great character to keep them out meaning they turned around 17-3 ahead at half time.

Patchell put Wales further ahead early in the second half with a penalty from 30 metres out after Argentina came in from the side at a ruck. Wales worked hard to try and close the game out with a number of surges close to the Argentinian line.

But just as they looked to be making progress scrum half Davies knocked the ball forward. Argentina were rattled but came close to narrowing the Welsh lead when Emiliano Boffeli fumbled the ball forward with the try line at his mercy after Iglesias out him through a hole.

Worcester Warriors wing Josh Adams very nearly put the game to bed when he sliced through the home sides defence. But his offload could not find Josh Turnbull who was in support.

Santiago Medrano appeared to have scored the hosts' first try when he crawled over the try line from short range. But the TMO ruled out the try for double movement as the tighthead prop was held in the tackle.

But Argentina finally crossed the line when loose forward Lezana smashed his way through the Welsh defence.
Anscombe put the icing on the cake with a simple penalty to seal an excellent victory for Wales.

Argentina:
Try: Lezana; Con: Gonzalez Iglesias; Pen: Sanchez

For Wales:
Tries: J Davies, North; Cons: Patchell 2; Pens: Patchell 2, Anscombe