Rugby Union: Wales reveal their vulnerability

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The Independent Online
Buenos Aires 31 Wales 29

GRAHAM HENRY, the Wales coach, wrote off his adopted country's chances of making an impact at international level if they play at anything under 100 per cent.

Henry made his claim after Wales lost the opening match of their tour of Argentina here on Saturday Although the score was close, Wales were deservedly beaten by Argentina's provincial champions.

All Wales could muster during a disjointed performance were tries from Allan Bateman and Geraint Lewis and 19 points from the accurate boot of Arwel Thomas.

The Swansea outside-half did not miss a kick all match, finding the target with five penalties and two conversions.

But it was not good enough to give Wales victory against a side, who had beaten England and France (both twice) and South Africa in recent years, drawn with Scotland and lost by five points to Australia.

The New Zealander Henry said: "I don't think we were perfect by any stretch of the imagination. As I have said many times before, this team is an average rugby team and if it is going to win big games we need to be on the ball. I guess we were about 70 per cent against Buenos Aires."

Henry felt Wales improved as the match went on after what he described as a "rusty" start.

"The crucial moment was probably with about 20 minutes to go when we had a two-on-one and the ball got intercepted and they scored at the other end.

"It was a 14-point play and was the turning point of the game. We lost it then."

Although the lead changed hands five times, Buenos Aires had the better of the match territorially and in terms of possession.

The former Richmond flanker Rolando Martin was the game's outstanding player and sealed his performance with a try from a close-range line-out while outside-half Jose Cilley was successful with two conversions and four penalties to notch up 16 points.

Buenos Aires: Tries Bartolucci, Martin, Solari; Conversions Cilley 2; Penalties Cilley 4. Wales: Tries Bateman, G Lewis; Conversions A Thomas 2; Penalties A Thomas 5.

Buenos Aires: Albanese; Bartolucci, Orengo, J Fernandez Miranda, Solari; Cilley, N Fernandez Miranda; Guatieri, Ledesma, Scelzo, Sporleder, Ugartemendia, Martin, Camerlinckx, Ostiglia.

Wales: Howarth; G Thomas, Bateman, Davies, James; A Thomas, Howley; Anthony, Jenkins, Rogers, Voyle, Wyatt, Charvis, Lewis, Sinkinson.