Wales beat Argentina 40-6 in Cardiff in autumn international

Wales (23) 40

  • Tries: Phillips, North, Faletau, Owen
  • Cons: Halfpenny 4
  • Pens: Halfpenny 4

Argentina (3) 6

  • Pens: Sanchez 2

Wales won their first autumn international in four years thanks to a commanding performance against Argentina in Cardiff.

Scrum-half Mike Phillips scored a superb 70-metre solo try, while wing George North, number eight Toby Faletau and replacement hooker Ken Owens also crossed for the home side.

Full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked eight of his nine attempts at goal.

All of Argentina's points came from the boot of fly-half Nicolas Sanchez.

Wales' last autumn win at the Millennium Stadium was against the same opponents in 2009. They have failed to win in 11 attempts since then, including a defeat by the Pumas in this fixture 12 months ago.

Official match stats

Wales Argentina

44%

Possession

56%

46%

Territory

54%

6 (1)

Scrums won (lost)

6 (1)

12 (2)

Line-outs won (lost)

7 (1)

11

Pens conceded

12

62 (3)

Rucks won (lost)

89 (5)

32

Possession kicked

30

121 (18)

Tackles made (missed)

73 (13)

12

Offloads

11

6

Line breaks

4

(provided by Opta)

But this performance was far more in the vein of the Wales' resounding 33-16 victory in 2009, the home side playing with real verve, fluency and ambition.

It was a performance befitting the achievement of prop Gethin Jenkins, who became the fourth player - alongside Gareth Thomas, Stephen Jones and Martyn Williams - to win a century of caps for Wales.

After the disappointment of the bruising 24-15 defeat by South Africa last Saturday, this showing was more reminiscent of the side that won the 2013 Six Nations title, despite the absence of injured British and Irish Lions trio Adam Jones, Jonathan Davies and Dan Lydiate.

Halfpenny opened the scoring with a penalty before the game exploded into life - Argentina taking the attack to Wales but the hosts scoring the game's first try.

Phillips, currently without a club, intercepted a Sanchez pass and the Lions Test star ran 70 metres to score his ninth try for his country.

If that score settled Welsh nerves, the men in red soon found themselves rattled when they lost flanker Justin Tipuric to a yellow card after the open-side was adjudged to have tackled wing Horacio Agulla without the ball.

But Sanchez hit the post with the resulting penalty and Halfpenny then slotted his second three-pointer to make it 13-0 midway through the first period.

North extended Wales' lead with a well-worked try from a lineout when he latched on to Phillips' deft inside pass, and though Sanchez put Argentina's first points on the board with a penalty, Halfpenny finished an impressive half with his fifth successful kick to give Wales a 20-point lead at the break.

Wales started the second half as they had finished the first when fly-half Dan Biggar launched an attack from behind his own line, which finished with North stopped just short of Argentina's line by veteran lock Patricio Albacete.

Halfpenny and Sanchez swapped penalties before the home side scored their third try, as the Pumas started to miss tackles and struggle with the constant Welsh pressure.

Man of the match Faletau made sure of a home victory when he started and finished Wales' next try.

The number eight moved the ball from the back of a scrum and was in support to finish off a break made by wing Liam Williams.

Halfpenny added his seventh successful kick of the game to give the home side a 27-point lead midway through the second half.

Replacement hooker Owens notched Wales' fourth try after the home side dismantled a ragged Pumas pack with a powerful driving lineout, ensuring the hosts will be full of confidence when they face Tonga next Friday before Australia visit at the end of the month.

TEAMS

Wales : 15-Leigh Halfpenny; 14-George North, 13-Cory Allen, 12-Scott Williams, 11-Liam Williams; 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Mike Phillips; 1-Gethin Jenkins, 2-Richard Hibbard, 3-Rhodri Jones, 4-Bradley Davies, 5-Alun-Wyn Jones, 6-Sam Warburton, 7-Justin Tipuric, 8-Toby Faletau.

Replacements: 16-Ken Owens, 17-Paul James, 18-Samson Lee, 19-Luke Charteris, 20-Ryan Jones, 21-Lloyd Williams, 22-James Hook, 23-Ashley Beck.

Argentina : 15-Joaquin Tuculet; 14-Horacio Agulla, 13-Marcelo Bosch, 12-Santiago Fernandez, 11-Santiago Cordero; 10-Nicolas Sanchez, 9-Martin Landajo; 1-Marcos Ayerza, 2-Eusebio Guinazu, 3-Maximilano Bustos, 4-Manuel Carizza, 5-Patricio Albacete, 6-Pablo Matera, 7-Juan Farias Cabello, 8-Juan Manuel Leguizamon.

Replacements: 16-Santiago Iglesias Valdes, 17-Nahuel Lobo, 18-Matias Diaz, 19-Tomas Lavanini, 20-Leonardo Senatore, 21-Tomas Cubelli, 22-Gabriel Ascarate, 23-Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.

Referee : John Lacey (Ireland)

Touch judges : Steve Walsh (Australia) & Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)

TV : Simon McDonnell (Ireland)