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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 June, 2004, 19:08 GMT 20:08 UK
Argentina 20-35 Wales
ARGENTINA v WALES
Shane Williams scored a dazzling first-half hat-trick
Argentina (0) 20
Tries: Aramburu, Hasan, Borges
Cons: Senillosa
Pens: Senillosa
Wales (25) 35
Tries: Williams (3), Robinson
Cons: Henson (3)
Pens: Henson (3)
Att: 45,000
A dazzling first half hat-trick from Shane Williams saw Wales level the Test series with Argentina.

They led 25-0 at the break, but had to survive a furious second-half comeback from the Pumas in Buenos Aires.

Captain Colin Charvis was sin binned for the second week, the home side profiting with tries from Omar Hasan, Federico Aramburu and Lucas Borges.

But Wales replaced their front row and the renewed energy led to a sealing try from new fly-half Nicky Robinson.

Wales coach Mike Ruddock's midweek chat with referee Donal Courtney about Argentina infringements at the breakdown appeared to pay early dividends as a string of penalties went against the home side, Gavin Henson landing a shot at goal after seven minutes.

A strong charge from Charvis then presented good ball for Tom Shanklin to break the line in midfield.

He was supported by Sonny Parker, whose floated pass sent Williams in at the corner for his first score.

We must be pragmatic and stop giving away the advantage
Wales coach Mike Ruddock
The Ospreys winger doubled his tally with a thrilling score five minutes later, side-stepping through the Argentinian props in midfield before turning full-back Senillosa inside and out to cross under the posts.

Argentina's powerful scrum helped them rally, but Wales' defence held firm and after 29 minutes the Pumas were reduced to 14 men when lock Ignacio Lobbe was sin binned for coming in at the side of a ruck.

With half-time approaching, good driving play from the back row set Dwayne Peel on a run down the left.

He exchanged passes with Robinson before feeding Williams who completed a memorable hat-trick.

To compound the Pumas' first-half misery, fly-half Felipe Contepomi was stretchered off in injury time with a worrying neck injury.

Colin Charvis
Charvis' sin binning helped a Pumas recovery
Argentina exploded into the second half with renewed energy, their forwards - led by replacement hooker Mario Ledesma - tearing into Wales' suspect defence.

Charvis was sin binned for killing the ball for the second successive week, his departure increasing the Pumas' momentum as Senillosa kicked their first points of the game.

More powerful driving from the Pumas then created spaces in midfield, and replacement Aramburu cruised through the gap for a try under the posts.

Their next try came from a lost Welsh line-out deep in the Argentina half.

A flowing move from the Pumas backs down the right landed them on the Welsh line and from the resultant ruck prop Omar Hasan burrowed over to reduce the gap to 10 points.

To address their creaking set piece Wales replaced their entire front row, and were rewarded with a much-needed Henson penalty after a period of pressure.

That settled Wales' nerves, and centres Shanklin and Parker sparked an attack from deep in their own half.

The ball came to Williams who delayed his pass to Robinson superbly, giving the fly-half the chance to use his pace to cross in the corner.

Williams' day was somewhat spoilt in the closing moments when he was sin binned for killing the ball as Argentina went for a consolation try.

Wales held out a series of close-range scrums, but winger Borges claimed a disputed try in the corner with the last move of the game.

Ruddock's side now travel to South Africa for the final game of their summer tour against the Springboks in Pretoria on Saturday, with Argentina playing New Zealand away on the same day.


Argentina: H Senillosa; J Piossek, J Orengo, M Contepomi, L Borges; F Contepomi, N Miranda; R Roncero, F Mendez, O Hasan, I Lobbe, P Albacete, M Durand, L Ostiglia, G Longo (capt).
Replacements: M Ledesma, E Guinazu, P Bouza, M Shusterman, M Albina, J Miranda, F Aramburu.

Wales: G Henson; H Luscombe, S Parker, T Shanklin, S Williams; N Robinson, D Peel; Duncan Jones, H Bennett, Adam Jones, B Cockbain, G Llewellyn, Dafydd Jones, C Charvis (capt), M Owen.
Replacements: M Davies, G Jenkins, D Morris, J Thomas, M Phillips, C Sweeney, B Davies.

Referee: Donal Courtney (Ireland).




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