Rugby Union: Henry's World Cup marker

Argentina 16 Wales 23
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NOT MANY teams win a Test series in Argentina, and Wales rarely win away from home. So in beating the Pumas for the third time in nine months, and the second time in eight days at Ferro Carril Oeste, Graham Henry's men laid down a significant marker for the World Cup.

The fact these two sides will meet again on 1 October in the opening game of the World Cup, this time at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, meant the hosts were eager to gain the psychological upper hand.

Henry declared it "mission accomplished" and victory was reward for all the work he has put in with the forwards since taking over as the Welsh coach last August. The game before he took charge Wales lost 96- 13 in South Africa and were a laughing stock. Since then Wales have had their three wins over the Pumas, won in France and Italy and beaten England at Wembley. Their performances have given them vital credibility ahead of the World Cup.

Having overturned a 23 points deficit in the first Test, it was vital that Wales got off to a decent start. It took 11 minutes for them to break out of their own half but Neil Jenkins, far more assured than the previous week, got things going with a penalty and then his namesake, the Swansea hooker Garin, popped up in the right place to bag his second try in his 44th international. The groundwork was done by his fellow forwards Scott Quinnell and Chris Wyatt, who hounded the home full-back Diego Albanese into a clearance kick. Allan Bateman chargd it down, gathered the ball and passed to Jenkins, but the hooker still had 10 metres to run and two men to beat.

Argentina's French-based prop Mauro Reggiardo started what turned into a 16-man brawl after half-an-hour, and two minutes later he was yellow carded along with Pedro Sporleder and Wales' Peter Rogers.

The home side clawed their way back into a one-point lead with three Contepomi penalties, but Jenkins hit back with another goal on the stroke of half-time. After the break Jenkins broke through 800 points in Test rugby with three more penalties and a drop goal and Wales became the first British national side to win a series in South America.

Argentina: D Albanese (SIC); O Bartolucci, J Orengo (both Atletico del Rosario), L Arbizu (Brive), G Camardon (Alumni); F Contepomi (Newman), A Pichot (Richmond); R Grau (Saracens), F Mendez (Northampton), M Reggiardo (Castres), P Sporleder (Curupayti, capt), I Fernandez Lobbe (Liceo Naval), R Martin (SIC), M Ruiz (Teque), G Longo (SIC). Replacements: J Cilley (SIC) for Contepomi, 55; M Ledesma (Curupayti) for Mendez, 76; A Allub (Jockey Club) for Lobbe, 61.

Wales: S Howarth (Manchester Sale); G Thomas (Cardiff), M Taylor (Swansea), A Bateman (Northampton), D James (Pontypridd); N Jenkins (Pontypridd), R Howley (Cardiff, capt); P Rogers (Newport), G Jenkins (Swansea), B Evans (Swansea), C Quinnell (Cardiff), C Wyatt (Llanelli), G Lewis (Pontypridd), S Quinnell (Llanelli), B Sinkinson (Neath). Replacements: N Boobyer, S Jones (both Llanelli), D Llewellyn (Ebbw Vale), M Voyle (Llanelli), D Young (Cardiff) for Evans, 60; J Humphreys (Cardiff) for G Jenkins, 74; A Lewis (Cardiff) for P Rogers, 78.

Referee: C White (England).

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