WALES BROKE THEIR November Test losing streak with a 40-6 win over Argentina at the Millenium Stadium this afternoon.
Warren Gatland’s side scored four tries in a convincing victory over an Argentinian team that was largely disappointing. Mike Phillips crossed the whitewash as early as the eighth minute to set Wales on the way to victory, with the visitors failing to use their possession as effectively.
This result ends the 11-game losing run that Wales have endured during the November Test window in recent seasons, and sees Gatland’s men bounce back from the loss to South Africa last weekend.
Unemployed scrum-half Phillips scored early on, intercepting a spilled pass to sprint home from 50 metres out and even finding time to taunt covering Argentinian fullback Santiago Cordero. George North then showed his power and pace by bursting off the right wing to touch down in the 20th minute.
Leigh Halfpenny converted both tries and added three penalties to leave Wales 23-3 in front at half time and fully in control of the game, despite a handful of Argentine line-breaks. It proved to be more of the same in the second period, with No. 8 Toby Faletau finishing a nice team try in the 55th minutes, following a smart thrust down the left by Liam Williams.
Mike Phillips was a scorer in the first half. Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images.
Ken Owens rounded off the try-scoring in the 66th minute, benefiting from a powerful Welsh maul to touch down. That try symbolised the home team’s ability to come out on top of the collisions all afternoon and with Halfpenny adding two more conversions and another penalty, the Six Nations champions came out on the right side of a 40-6 scoreline.
For Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade, it’s back to the drawing board before next weekend’s clash with Italy, while Wales move on to face Tonga and Australia in the next two weeks with their confidence greatly boosted.
Elsewhere, Italy beat Fiji 37-31 in an eventful game in Cremona. The Fijians had four players in the sin bin simultaneously at one stage in the first half, with another yellow card dished out in the second half.
That indiscipline allowed Jacques Brunel’s men into a 30-10 lead with 20 minutes left, thanks to tries by Sergio Parisse, Luke McLean and a penalty try, as well as 15 points from the boot of Luciano Orquera.
However, Fiji battled back into the game, with Nemani Nadolo, Timoci Nagusa and Napolioni Nalaga all dotting down in the second period. That followed first half efforts from Metuisela Talebula and Nagusa, with out-half Seremai Baikeinuku successful with three of his five conversions.
In the end though Fiji came up just short, with Italy securing the win in the 68th minute as replacement back row Manoa Vosawai powered over for a try that Orquera converted.