Test Match Review

Argentina vs Wales

9th June, 2018

Final Score: Argentina 10 – Wales 23.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Much was expected of the Pumas as they took on the Welsh visitors. The Pumas, or the Jaguares if they are wearing their other set of rugby jerseys, have had a super run into the Test Match window in 2018. Six Super Rugby wins on the trot and were starting to look like a side that has found its game.

New Jaguares coach Ledezma had eradicated the disciplinary problems of the previous two years, he had brought a new, exciting, style of rugby to the Argentineans, and they had embraced his systems. Now it was up to national coach Daniel Hourcade to get those same players to make the small step up for Super Rugby to Test Match rugby.

Sadly, the players did not follow the script. The Pumas that took to the field in San Juan were nowhere nearly as committed, focussed or polished as they would be in a Jaguares jersey.

It was a lackadaisical affair, a Test match in name only as the two teams ground out a boring excuse of a game. After the three earlier Test matches on the day, this one was a waste of time.

Wales were better this week, their game against the South Africans in Washington had been noteworthy only for the scrappiness of the entire display. They managed to string together passages of play with fewer errors than a week ago, and their scrum got the better of the Argentineans despite the constant interference and lecturing of referee Andrew Brace.

In this world of neutral referees the question must be asked how and why was Andrew Brace appointed to referee this game? He is a Welshman, born in Cardiff, who happens to live in Ireland now. Even the TV commentators were having a giggle as he lapsed into the Welsh accent whenever he was talking to a player clad in red. When he was talking to an Argentinean a kind of a hybrid Welsh/Irish accent was heard, but there were no pretences at other times.

Not that he was biased, but the 50/50 calls did go with the visitors.

If they had gone the other way that would not have helped the Argentineans much. They were simply not in the game at all.

For the record:

Wales secured a win following a comfortable 23-10 triumph over a surprisingly poor Argentina in San Juan.

Nicolas Sanchez opened the scoring for the Pumas, but after that it was all Wales as the Six Nations outfit dominated the rest of the half and touched down twice through James Davies and George North.

Rhys Patchell, who had scored a penalty and two conversions before the interval, added another penalty in the second period to extend their buffer and they duly closed out the game fairly easily, despite Tomas Lezana’s consolation try.

The almost scoreless second half illustrates everything that is wrong with rugby. It was dour, disappointing stuff with little flair and even less excitement. Two teams that trundled around the field without really working up a head of steam.

The Argentineans were perhaps a little hard done by when the TMO denied them a try that seemed to be grounded after a long series of wrestling matches on the Welsh line, but that was about all they had to show until their late try.

Wales might be walking proud today, but they have to ask themselves why they could not add any more tries in the second half. It is no good to just control a game of rugby if you cannot score tries.

It was predictable and ponderous. Not much more that one can say about the game.

I was just a little miffed that I had bothered to stay up to watch the game.

The scorers:

For Argentina:
Try: Lezana
Con: Gonzalez Iglesias
Pen: Sanchez

For Wales:
Tries: J Davies, North
Cons: Patchell 2
Pens: Patchell 2, Anscombe

The Teams:

Argentina: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de le Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy (c), 1 Santiago Garcia Botta
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Javier Diaz, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere

Wales: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Josh Adams, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 James Davies, 6 Seb Davies, 5 Cory Hill (c), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Owen Watkin