Welsh wing Owen Lane scored the game’s first attempt before Argentina took control
|Wales (8) 11|
|Tries: roadway Pencils: J. Evans 2|
|Argentina (17) 33|
|Tries: Moroni, Cubelli, Matera Disadvantage: Sanchez 3 Pencils: Sanchez 4|
Argentina ended with a convincing win at Cardiff, a series win against a worn Wales side.
After drawing 20:20 last weekend, the Pumas took advantage of a sloppy performance by Wales to win the second Test at the Principality Stadium.
Wales opened the goal through Owen Lane but Argentina responded with attempts from wing Matias Moroni, scrum half Tomas Cubelli and flanker Pablo Matera.
Flying half Nicolas Sanchez kicked 18 points to punish Wales indiscipline.
Wales coach Wayne Pivac had said he will be without 27 players for this final game of the season due to injuries and obligations from the British and Irish Lions in South Africa.
That defeat came against an almost full-fledged Argentine team, who defeated New Zealand and drew twice against Australia in late 2020.
Pivac had stated that this was a chance to develop players before the 2023 World Cup in France as the first team was not available and he would have learned some valuable lessons from the two Tests against Argentina.
In bright sunshine, the pumas dominated the air battle, had an urgent superiority, pursued a simple but effective, powerful, ball-bearing game plan and simply made fewer mistakes than their opponents.
Wales made seven changes from their first test line-up, including Cardiff half-defenders Tomos Williams and Jarrod Evans, after impressing from the bench last week.
Osprey prop master Gareth Thomas made his first start while Cardiff flanker Josh Turnbull started his first Wales match in seven years.
Argentina made two changes: center Santiago Chocobares and wing Bautista Delguy started as they reshaped their defensive ranks after receiving a red card for full-back Juan Cruz Mallia last week.
Sanchez missed an early penalty and sustained a head injury after the TMO ruled that the Argentine fly half collided with Nick Tompkins’ leg rather than an attempted lane tackle.
Cardiff’s wing lane then expertly finished the first attempt before Argentina responded with a powerful push from wing Moroni, which Sanchez converted.
Scarlet wing Tom Rogers had made his second international appearance after replacing Jonah Holmes, but had a difficult opening quarter with a number of mistakes while full-back Hallam Amos also took possession of the ball a couple of times.
Wales have been handicapped by casual mistakes and indiscipline as they have consistently offered Argentina attractive opportunities.
The hosts’ generosity almost set the stage for an early Cubelli attempt, but the scrum half kept tapping as the try line begged under pressure from a Jonathan Davies tackle.
Sanchez extended the lead with a penalty before a possible attempt by the Pumas was prevented by the early whistle from English referee Luke Pearce.
That only delayed events, and Cubeli finally secured his attempt, which Sanchez converted.
Wales responded with an Evans penalty, but Argentina deserved to be nine points clear at break.
Pablo Matera’s late attempt underscores Argentina’s dominance
Wales’ casual mistakes, dominated by a series of inexplicable handling errors, continued into the second half before switching strikers, including a first cap for Matthew Screech.
Evans put Wales on point with his second penalty before Rogers was substituted off. Tompkins switched to the wing and Willis Halaholo came into the center.
Sanchez restored the two-point advantage with another penalty before Amos received a yellow card for shooting his opponent Santiago Carreras in the air.
Referee Pearce ruled it wasn’t worth a red card, however, as Scrum half Cubelli had contributed to Amos’ attack through a collision with the Welsh full-back.
Further Welsh indiscipline resulted in Taine Basham’s late duel against Carreras being punished with three more Sanchez points.
Another long-range shot from Sanchez hit the post before the fly half added another successful attempt. Flanker Matera was rewarded with a dynamic performance when he teamed up with man of the game Rodrigo Bruni in a dominant Argentine back row.
The conversion of Sanchez completed the scoring.
Wales: Hallam Amos; Owen Lane, Nick Tompkins, Jonathan Davies (Capt), Tom Rogers; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Gareth Thomas, Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Ben Carter, Will Rowlands, Josh Turnbull, James Botham, Ross Moriarty.
Replacement: Sam Parry, Rhodri Jones, Dillon Lewis, Matthew Screech, Taine Basham, Kieran Hardy, Callum Sheedy, Willis Halaholo.
Argentina: Santiago Carreras; Bautista Delguy, Santiago Chocobares, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Matias Moroni; Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Cubelli; Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Julian Montoya (Capt), Francisco Gomez Kodela, Guido Petti, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera, Facundo Isa, Rodrigo Bruni.
Replacement: Facundo Bosch, Facundo Gigena, Santiago Medrano, Tomas Lavanini, Matias Alemanno, Felipe Ezcurra, Domingo Miotti, Juan Imhoff.
Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU).
Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley, Karl Dickson (RFU).
TMO: Tom Foley (RFU).