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Groundhog day for Welsh as Pumas celebrate shock win

Date

Mike Brown

WALES 12 ARGENTINA 26

Wales' centre Scott Williams  puts through a grubber kick.

Wales' centre Scott Williams puts through a grubber kick. Photo: AFP

CARDIFF: Argentina became the first team to beat Six Nations Grand Slam winners Wales at home this year as they recorded a come from behind 26-12 win over the Welsh here on Saturday at the Millennium Stadium.

Second-half tries by Juan Imhoff and Gonzalo Camacho proved the difference as the Pumas' recorded only their second win in Wales - their previous being 11 years to the day of their latest exploit.

Following their involvement in the Rugby Championship there were fears in Wales that the South Americans could catch the Grand Slam champions cold.

Argentina's Gonzalo Camacho, scores his sides second try. Click for more photos

Pumas shock Wales in Cardiff

Two tries in second half give Argentina big victory over Six Nations champions. Photo: AP

And they took full advantage with a pair of scintillating tries from their wings to bring Wales crashing down to earth and end any hopes of them climbing to fourth in the world rankings which would have seen them be seeded top of a 2015 World Cup pool.

Wales were without several of their Grand Slam stars with Adam Jones, Dan Lydiate, Ryan Jones and Jonathan Davies all ruled out through injury.

Aaron Jarvis slotted into the front row to make his debut while Tavis Knoyle was preferred to Mike Phillips at scrum-half.

Jamie Roberts, who will leave Cardiff Blues at the end of the season, lined up at inside centre opposite Felipe Contepomi, who inspired the Pumas to victory in 2001.

The veteran play-maker sat out the recent Rugby Championship but was recalled for the autumn series and opened the scoring on three minutes after Ian Evans was penalised for a high tackle.

Wales quickly hit-back through Halfpenny, after Jarvis settled any early nerves with a penalty earned at the scrum, but Argentina regained their lead thanks to a Nicolas Sanchez drop-goal.

But Argentina were dealt a major blow on 13 minutes when they lost Contepomi to a knee ligament injury and moments later Halfpenny knocked over his second penalty.

The full-back turned from point scorer to saver after a clinical counter-attack from the Pumas.

After turning over possession the ball was spread wide to Imhoff. The wing raced down the left and threaded a kick through. But despite winning the race Gonzalo Tiesi lost the ball under the tackle of Halfpenny.

Wales lost their own inside centre midway through the opening half as Roberts suffered a heavy bang to the head but Halfpenny fired the hosts into the lead with his third successful shot at goal.

Sanchez struck the uprights within minutes of the restart and totally miscued a second attempt minutes later as he slipped over on the greasy Millennium Stadium turf.

And Halfpenny punished the Pumas for their inaccuracy as he maintained his 100 per cent strike rate with another penalty but Sanchez made some amends with a second opportunist drop-goal.

The Pumas continued their resurgence and sparked the game into life with the opening try. Juan Manuel Leguizamon created the opening with a superb offload to Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, who released Imhoff.

And the Racing Metro star showed some dazzling footwork to round Halfpenny and score.

Sanchez slotted the conversion and Argentina were quickly back on the scoreboard with a second try. Again an offload did the damage and Camacho took full advantage with a superb finish in the corner.

Sanchez expertly converted from the touchline to hand his side a 23-12 advantage and leave Wales starring down the barrel.

Sanchez continued to keep the scoreboard ticking and put the pumas 14 points and out of reach. Wales rallied at the death but the visitors weathered the storm to claim a major scalp.

ARGENTINA 26 (Juan Imhoff, Gonzalo Camacho tries; Nicolas Sanchez 2 con; Felipe Contepomi, Sanchez  pens; Sanchez 2 drop goals) def WALES 12 (Leigh Halfpenny 4 pens)

AFP

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Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
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ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
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IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
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Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
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ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
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IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
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