Wales come from behind to secure 20-20 draw against 14-man Argentina

Nicolas Sanchez contributed with 10 points for Argentina
Nicolas Sanchez contributed with 10 points for Argentina
©Steve Haag

Wales 20-20 Argentina, Principality Stadium

Wales scored two tries in the final half-hour as they came from behind to secure a 20-20 draw against Argentina in the opening Test between them at Principality Stadium on Saturday.

The Pumas were down by a player by the 30th minute with Juan Cruz Mallia red-carded for a dangerous tackle on Kieran Hardy but despite that they had a lead of 6-20 before tries from Will Rowlands and Tomos Williams helped Wales from avoiding a defeat.

Wales, who suffered a setback with Leigh Halfpenny injured in the previous game, had Aaron Wainwright forced off the field in the second quarter and was replaced by Josh Turnbull while the visitors saw Argentina wing Santiago Carreras suffering a nasty head injury in the 27th minute.

The opening quarter saw Nicolas Sanchez and Callum Sheedy exchange penalties in the 16th and 18th minutes respectively before the Wales fly-half kicked another three-pointer to put the hosts back in the lead.

The 28th minute saw both the teams reduced to 14 players temporarily with Wales' Dillon Lewis and Argentina's Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro yellow-carded following a series of collapsed scrums and two minutes later Argentina's Cruz Mallia was sent-off but Wales failed to seize on the numerical advantage.

Argentina overcame their setback and proved to be the strongest finisher in the opening half with Pablo Matera dotting down and Nicolas Sanchez kicked a conversion and a penalty on either side as the teams headed into the break with a 6-13 scoreline.

The Pumas extended their momentum into the second half with Jeronimo de la Fuente capitalising on a scrum to touchdown and Sanchez's improved making it 6-20 as Wayne Pivac started making a number of changes.

Wales finally got into the groove through Rowlands' second try in two games and replacement Jarrod Evans kicked the extras narrowing the gap down seven points. Argentina had a chance to increase their lead further but Sanchez missed out on two penalties providing Wales with an opportunity as Williams dived from close range in the 71st minute and Evans kicked a nerveless conversion to help them secure a draw.

The second Test between the two sides will be played on 17th June.

Team line up:

Wales: Hallam Amos; Jonah Holmes, Willis Halaholo, Jonathan Davies, Owen Lane; Callum Sheedy, Kieran Hardy; Nicky Smith, Elliot Dee, Dillon Lewis, Ben Carter, Will Rowlands, Ross Moriarty, James Botham, Aaron Wainwright.

Reserves: Ryan Elias, Gareth Thomas, Leon Brown, Josh Turnbull, Taine Basham, Tomos Williams, Jarrod Evans, Nick Tompkins.

Argentina: Juan Cruz Mallia; Santiago Carreras, Matias Moroni, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Santiago Cordero; Nicolas Sanchez, Tomás Cubelli; Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Julian Montoya, Francisco Gomez Kodela, Guido Petti, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera, Facundo Isa, Rodrigo Bruni.

Reserves: Facundo Bosch, Facundo Gigena, Santiago Medrano, Tomas Lavanini, Matias Alemanno, Gonzalo Bertranou, Domingo Miotti, Santiago Chocobares.

Wales Fixtures