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Saturday, 10 November, 2001, 15:50 GMT
Pumas maul poor Wales
Scott Quinnell was Wales' best player by far
Quinnell was the only welsh player to trouble Argentina
Wales 16-30 Argentina

Argentina fly-half Felipe Contemponi stole the show at the Millennium Stadium to lead his team to a deserved win over a poor Wales side.

All the pre-match attention focused on Wales' Iestyn Harris much anticipated debut in international rugby union, but his opposite number was the master on the day.

Contemponi's tally of 25 points gave the Pumas their first ever Test match win over Wales.

"We believed we could do this. We've come here three times in the last four years and it's third time lucky," Contepomi said.

The home side were booed off the field by the home fans after they sat through another disorganised and lethargic Welsh performance.

Agustin Pichot
The Argentina forwards gave Agustin Pichot a perfect attacking platform
Despite impressing with some fine long passing and competent kicks at goal, Harris' debut will be remembered for two elementary kicking errors.

An attempted clearance kick in the first half was charged down by Contemponi, who then held off Colin Charvis to reach the ball first over the tryline.

And a poorly placed kick in the second half led to a try for winger Gonzalo Camardon in the left corner.

But it would be unfair to attribute Argentina's win to mistakes from Harris' silver boots.

Their forwards looked hungry and sharp while the Welsh forwards struggled time and again to build a platform for their backs to launch any meaningful attacks.

Argentina dominated possession and territory which allow Contemponi to kick five penalties and a drop-goal.

Iestyn Harris looks for a gap in the Argentina defence
Harris made an inauspicious start to life in the red jersey.
Harris kept Wales in touch with three penalties of his own but the Pumas led from start to finish and never looked in danger of relinquishing their advantage.

Wales did manage a superbly worked try from prop Darren Morris late in the first-half, but any attacking play from then on was either spoiled by poor handling or aggressive Argentine tackling.

After last month's humiliating defeat against Ireland in the Six Nations, this result piles yet more pressure on Wales coach Graham Henry.

He claimed this match was the beginning of his rebuilding for the 2003 World Cup.

Harris should be a major part of the restructuring and he will hope for a more productive afternoon against Tonga next weekend before world champions Australia come calling.

Wales: Try: Darren Morris; Cons: Iestyn Harris; Pens: Iestyn Harris (3).

Argentina:Tries: Felipe Contepomi, Gonzalo Camardon; Cons: Felipe Contepomi; Pens: Felipe Contepomi (5); Drop goals: Felipe Contepomi.

Wales: Kevin Morgan (Swansea); Rhys Williams (Cardiff), Gareth Thomas (Bridgend), Stephen Jones (Llanelli), Anthony Sullivan (Cardiff); Iestyn Harris (Cardiff), Rob Howley (Cardiff); Darren Morris (Swansea), Robin McBryde (Llanelli), Dai Young (Cardiff, capt), Andy Moore (Swansea), Craig Quinnell (Cardiff), Colin Charvis (Swansea), Gavin Thomas (Bath), Scott Quinnell (Llanelli).
Reps: Jamie Robinson (Cardiff), Allan Bateman (Neath), Dwayne Peel (Llanelli), Iestyn Thomas (Ebbw Vale), Barry Williams (Neath), Chris Wyatt (Llanelli), Brett Sinkinson (Neath).

Argentina: Ignacio Corleto (Narbonne); Gonzalo Camardon (Roma), Jose Orengo (Perpignan), Lisandro Arbizu (Bordeaux-Begles, capt), Diego Albanese (Gloucester); Felipe Contepomi (Bristol Shoguns), Agustin Pichot (Bristol Shoguns); Mauricio Reggiardo (Castres Olympique), Federico Mendez (Mendoza Rugby), Omar Hasan (Agen), Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe (Castres Olympique), Rimas Alvarez (Perpignan), Santiago Phelan (C.A.S.I), Rolando Martin (S.I.C), Gonzalo Longo (Narbonne).
Reps: Roberto Grau (Liceo), Mario Ledesma (Narbonne), Lucas Ostiglia (Hindu), Martin Durand (Champagnat), Nicolas Fernandez Miranda (Hindu), Gonzalo Quesada (Narbonne), Bernardo Stortoni (C.A.S.I).

BBC Sport's Robert Jones
"Argentina thoroughly deserved it"
Wales fly-half Iestyn Harris
"I made a couple of mistakes but I'll try to rectify them in the week."
Wales coach Graham Henry
"Our skill level was poor"
See also:

10 Nov 01 |  Photo Galleries
Mixed fortunes
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