Autumn international: Wales crush Argentina in Cardiff
Last Updated: 16/11/13 5:06pm
Wales scored two tries in each half in a record 40-6 victory over Argentina at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Mike Phillips, George North, Toby Faletau and and replacement Ken Owens all crossed while Leigh Halfpenny added a 20-point haul with the boot as the hosts claimed a first autumn international win since 2009.
The home side made a strong start, monopolising possession and going through several phases of play before full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked an angled penalty.
Argentina could offer little in response and Wales extended their lead after eight minutes when a crunching tackle by hooker Richard Hibbard - Wales' best player last weekend - on Pumas fly-half Nicolas Sanchez set up a breakaway score for Mike Phillips.
The Wales scrum-half sprinted 70 metres to Argentina's line, and Halfpenny's conversion made it 10-0 before Justin Tipuric was sin-binned by referee John Lacey on his assistant Steve Walsh's recommendation for tackling a Pumas player off the ball.
Sanchez's resulting penalty hit the post, but Wales will have been satisfied with their opening despite the yellow for Tipuric, and a second Halfpenny penalty took the home team 13 points clear.
Argentina occasionally threatened Wales' 22, but the reigning RBS 6 Nations champions displayed a clinical edge in attack that was underlined through their second try after 24 minutes.
The source was quality lineout ball, before Phillips delivered a deft inside pass that wing George North gathered on a defence-splitting angle before touching down between the posts.
Halfpenny added the conversion, and Wales were almost out of sight at 20 points clear to suggest a record win against Argentina was very much on the cards.
Sanchez opened the Pumas' account with a penalty 11 minutes before half-time, but they faced a long uphill battle to get themselves back into the contest as Halfpenny's third successful penalty restored the advantage for Wales.
And they showed no sign of letting up in terms of their attacking intent, and centre Scott Williams sparked a brilliant attack from deep inside his own 22 that almost resulted in a try for North.
The Northampton wing required treatment after he was tackled, but he quickly dusted himself down as Halfpenny's fourth successful penalty extended Wales' lead to 26-3.
A second Sanchez penalty doubled Argentina's tally, before Halfpenny missed his first kick of the autumn - it was his 12th attempt across two games - approaching the final quarter.
But Wales then cut open Argentina's defence, with Halfpenny making initial headway before finding wing Liam Williams in support, and his scoring pass was taken by number eight Toby Faletau.
Halfpenny converted for a 33-6 advantage, with Argentina pretty much out on their feet, and when replacement hooker Ken Owens scored a fourth try - converted by Halfpenny - with 12 minutes left there really was no way back for the visitors.
Autumn Internationals: Wales v Argentina
Scott Williams looks set to offer Wales a welcome injury boost despite picking up an injury in the win over Argentina.
Adam Jones and Jonathan Davies have been ruled out of Wales' three remaining autumn Tests due to injury.