Wales and Argentina go head to head in the first of two Tests this weekend. Shaun Goosen previews.
Wales v Argentina
10 July 14h00
To Win (80 mins)
Wales (-6.5) 9/10
Argentina (+6.5) 9/10
Six Nations champions Wales host Argentina in the first of two Test matches at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.
Wayne Pivac’s men totally outclassed Canada 68-12 at the same venue last week but were unfortunate to lose the legendary Leigh Halfpenny, playing in his 100th Test match, within minutes after the kick-off. The Cardiff Blues fullback is set for surgery and will miss the remaining summer Tests.
Nevertheless, Pivac will be pleased that his side managed to cross the whitewash 10-times and will feel they have just about enough in their arsenal to see off Los Pumas on Saturday.
Argentina made a triumphant return to international action last week too, beating Romania 24-17 in Bucharest in their first outing of the year. Having shaken off a bit of rust there, they will feel their forward pack can pose Wales a problem or two at the contact area.
While the South Americans weren’t at their best against the Eastern Europeans and will have been in need of last week’s hit out before going up against a Welsh side who are without a number of stars through injury and British & Irish Lions call ups.
It’ll be interesting to see how well each of these teams do after facing off against second-tier opposition last time out. Wales certainly come into the games as favourites – especially with the undercooked performance that Argentina put in last week.
Speaking ahead of this game, Pivac was rightly cautious of his young team’s chances against Argentina.
“To go in cold against a side that has drawn twice against Australia and beaten the All Blacks, you have to respect that team.”
“For this young team to go up against a side like that is exactly what we need. It will show them how much hard work they need to put in if they want to play at this level on a regular basis. There will be a lot more learnings next weekend.”
Verdict: Argentina +6.5 (9/10)
Back Wales to sneak past Argentina.