Mon, Aug 20, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Wales defeat Argentina

AFP, CARDIFF

Wales captain Gareth Thomas hopes the fans will come flooding through the Millennium Stadium turnstiles for the World Cup warm-up game with tournament hosts France next Sunday after his side's 27-20 success against Argentina.

Following a record 62-5 defeat against England two weeks ago, the Millennium was barely half full for Saturday's match.

And the bulk of the 36,736 crowd could have been forgiven for wondering if they'd spent their money wisely when left wing Ignacio Corleto gave the Pumas an early lead after picking off a pass from Thomas for an interception try.

But Wales, thanks to tries from Thomas, Alun-Wyn Jones and Mark Jones, were 24-7 ahead at halftime.

The Pumas then fought back, with Corleto touching down again, and only some desperate Welsh defense in the closing stages prevented Argentina scoring a try which, if converted, would have levelled the match.

As it was, Wales clung on for what was only their fourth win in 15 Tests during the reign of under-pressure coach Gareth Jenkins.

The former Llanelli chief, widely criticized for fielding an under-strength side against world champions England, had left himself open to more flak by saying the Argentina match marked the real start of Wales' World Cup campaign.

But a team showing 12 changes to the starting side which suffered that Twickenham trouncing gave their coach some breathing space.

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