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Wales see off Pumas to end losing streak

Tries from Liam Williams and Gareth Davies, plus the boot of Leigh Halfpenny, led Wales to a morale-boosting win over Argentina.

WALES BOUNCED BACK from their disappointing defeat against Australia to end their losing run with a 24-20 victory over Argentina in Cardiff.

A 32-8 defeat to the Wallabies last time out made it five losses in a row for Rob Howley’s side, but they raised their levels at the Principality Stadium to claim an 11th win over the Pumas.

Penalty kicks kept the scores tight in the opening 40, but after the break Liam Williams scored the game’s first try to set Wales on their way.

Juan Martin Hernandez and Martin Landajo twice brought Argentina within touching distance, but scrum-half Gareth Davies and the boot of Leigh Halfpenny secured the win for Wales after a frantic second half.

Next up for Wales is a clash with Japan next weekend, while Argentina travel north to face Scotland at Murrayfield.

Wales v Argentina - Autumn International - Principality Stadium Source: Paul Harding

Nicolas Sanchez and Halfpenny traded early kicks in a scrappy opening that saw both sides make mistakes in attack, the Wales full-back adding a second 24 minutes in to give the hosts a slender lead.

Wales could have strengthened their advantage with an onslaught in the run up to half-time, but Ross Moriarty, Scott Williams and George North were all unable to convert.

Liam Williams went closest to getting the game’s first try in the closing minutes, but drifted into touch, meaning Wales only went into the break 6-3 ahead.

Argentina – who were reduced to 14 when Ramiro Herrera saw yellow in the final minute of the first half – could not keep Wales at bay after the restart, though, as Liam Williams finally got his reward.

His fifth international try came after Wales had broken down the right, the ball was recycled left and the winger nipped inside to score under great pressure from the Pumas – the try given after a video replay.

Wales v Argentina - Autumn International - Principality Stadium Source: Paul Harding

Despite being a man down, Argentina came roaring back as Wales switched off, Hernandez on hand to seize upon a quick break and kick by Landajo.

Sanchez kicked the conversion to reduce Argentina’s deficit to one, but they were soon eight behind again as Gareth Davies crossed with a close-range effort – Halfpenny adding the two.

Still the visitors refused to buckle and the industrious Landajo burrowed his way through the Wales defence to get a try of his own, and once again Sanchez made no mistake from the tee.

The fly-half was at fault for the penalty that re-established Wales’ lead, though, Halfpenny stroking the ball through the posts to give the hosts a four-point cushion.

A late penalty from Sanchez ensured a nervy ending, but Halfpenny had the final say as Wales clung on to a win that eases the pressure on Howley in Warren Gatland’s absence.

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