Wales without many of their established stars surprised the Pumas again to win the Second Test and the series 2-0 in Santa Fe.
Wales finished their June tour unbeaten with a comprehensive 30-12 victory over Argentina at Estadio Brigadier Lopez in Santa Fe. It has been a fine summer for Wales as they followed up an impressive victory over the Springboks with back-to-back wins over Argentina. It has also given Warren Gatland the opportunity to test out new combinations ahead of the World Cup and he will be pleased with the depth within the squad after the new players stood up and made themselves counted.
If Wales were bracing themselves for an Argentine backlash, they need not have worried as los Pumas were even worse than last weekend’s dismal display. Coach Daniel Hourcade could be seen with his head in his hands so bad was his team’s performance over the two games. Argentina have been well below-par in this series, considering the excellent form of the Super Rugby franchise, Jaguares, which consists of the same players.
Hourcade’s side made numerous mistakes, 16 handling errors in total by the end of the match and it was a case of Wales making them pay.
Rhys Patchell got Wales on the board with his ninth-minute penalty after Argentina were caught offside. Six minutes later, the Scarlets fly-half doubled the lead with another three-pointer after los Pumas this time were penalised for not rolling away.
The Welsh were dominating the possession and territorial statistics and were rewarded with their first try of the match in the 22nd minute thanks to a magnificent individual effort from Josh Adams – the Worcester Warrior stepping his way past numerous defenders in a jinking run on the way to the line as Patchell converted for a 13-0 lead.
The number 10 added another two penalties before Argentina finally came to life a minute before the interval as los Pumas lock Guido Petti made the line break through the middle and played the final pass for Bautista Delguy, who showed the Wales defence a clean set of heels on his way over the whitewash. Nicolas Sanchez converted as Argentina went into the interval trailing 19-8.
Patchell notched a further two penalties to take his tally to six from seven attempts in a fine kicking display as Wales extended their lead to 25-5 before they got their second try of the match with a superb team move involving brilliant hands from Ross Moriarty to release George North who offloaded well for Hallam Amos to finish clinically, having run an excellent support line. Patchell failed to add the extras but Wales still led 30-5.
The game was slightly marred by some late scuffles, with Moriarty red-carded for his choke hold on Sanchez. Argentina capitalised on the numerical advantage with a late Julian Montoya score and will be looking to pick themselves up quickly before they face Scotland next weekend.
Tries: Delguy, Montoya
Tries: Adams, Amos
Pens: Patchell 6
Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de le Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy (c), 1 Santiago Garcia Botta
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Javier Diaz, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere
Wales: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Josh Adams, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 James Davies, 6 Ellis Jenkins, 5 Cory Hill (c), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Bradley Davies, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Tom Prydie
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)