Wales made light work of Argentina in the first game of their two-Test series, cruising to a 23-10 victory in San Juan.
Los Pumas were undone by first-half tries from James Davies and George North, and Rhys Patchell’s cool-headed kicking ensured Wales could focus on soaking up an Argentina fightback in the second half.
Warren Gatland made eight changes to the team that beat South Africa in Washington the previous weekend. The alterations included Patchell being handed the number 10 jersey, while Hadleigh Parkes and Scott Williams were drafted into the centres.
Argentina took the lead through a Nicolas Sanchez penalty inside the opening two minutes, but Wales hit back in style when Hallam Amos made an audacious pass to take out three defenders and put Davies in for a try that Patchell converted.
North, restored to the wing, burst clear after 27 minutes to score his 33rd try for Wales and Patchell added the extras as well as a penalty to round off a fine first half for the visitors.
Patchell’s fourth successful kick made it 20-3 four minutes into the second half, although he missed with a subsequent attempt.
Daniel Hourcade’s charges were second-best at the breakdown and found themselves up against a clinical Welsh back row featuring the outstanding Ross Moriarty, but a flat Argentina attack finally forced a try through Tomas Lezana in the dying minutes of the game before Gareth Anscombe – on for Patchell – slotted over a last-ditch penalty to make the scoreline more reflective of the game.
FULL TIME ARG 10-23 WAL
A result worthy of the occasion for Wales in their long-awaited return to Argentina. A deserved victory, with a strong comeback by the Pumas.
Buddugoliaeth haeddiannol yn erbyn yr Ariannin. Edrychwn ymlaen at y gêm nesaf yn Santa Fe llawn hyder pic.twitter.com/s4ATPLFahO
— Welsh Rugby Union (@WelshRugbyUnion) June 9, 2018
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