Williams the wizard stuns the Pumas

Argentina 20 Wales 35
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Shane Williams turned on the style to grab a hat-trick of tries to steer Wales to a series-squaring victory in Buenos Aires and give the northern hemisphere their first success over their southern rivals in eight Tests this month.

Shane Williams turned on the style to grab a hat-trick of tries to steer Wales to a series-squaring victory in Buenos Aires and give the northern hemisphere their first success over their southern rivals in eight Tests this month.

The Ospreys wing notched three tries in the first half as Wales mounted a 25-point lead, turned provider for a fourth try in the second half and then found himself sent to the sin bin on 80 minutes.

After Wales's terrible defensive display during their 50-44 defeat in Tucuman the previous weekend, they tightened up their tackling and raced into a 25-point lead in a first half that saw Williams take his try tally for his country to 18 in 20 Tests.

The Wales coach Mike Ruddock's six changes made a considerable difference and as the Welsh pack took control, Gavin Henson, switched to full-back, got the scoreboard moving with a seventh-minute penalty.

Then a line-out steal was converted into a drive into Pumas territory by the skipper Colin Charvis. Tom Shanklin made the half-break, his centre partner Sonny Parker carried on and a long pass enabled Williams to skip the length of the home 22 for his first try.

Henson converted and was on target again four minutes later after Williams had turned the Pumas inside out with a breathtaking run through the middle that involved three sidesteps as he beat four men on his way to the posts. Henson then added a penalty shortly after the lock Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe had been sent to the sin-bin.

Williams ran in his third try after excellent approach work by Michael Owen, Charvis again and Dwayne Peel. Wales were on top, yet having almost recovered from a 27-point deficit themselves in the first Test they took nothing for granted at half-time.

The Pumas were a different side after the break thanks to the introduction of hooker Mario Ledesma who immediately helped to set up a try for replacement wing Federico Aramburu. Hernan Senillosa added the conversion, two minutes after he had slotted a penalty. When the prop Omar Hassan drove over after 57 minutes, the Welsh looked to be in trouble.

Ruddock responded by changing his front row on the hour and another Henson penalty steadied the tourists' nerves. That hoisted Wales's advantage to 13 points and two minutes later Nicky Robinson went over. Williams's pass on the edge of the Pumas' 22 allowed the Cardiff fly-half to run clear to the posts for a try which Henson converted.

Lucas Borges grabbed a consolation try for the home side in the eighth minute of injury time, but it failed to prevent Wales from beating a team above them in the world rankings for the first time in more than three years.

Argentina: H Senillosa (Hindu); J Piossek (Huirapacu), J Orengo (Grenoble), M Contepomi (Newman), L Borges (Pucara); F Contepomi (Leinster), N Miranda (Hindu); R Roncero (Gloucester), F Mendez (Mendoza RC), O Hasan (Agen), I Fernandez Lobbe (Castres Olympique), P Albacete (Colomiers), M Durand (Champagnat), L Ostiglia (Padova Petrarca), G Longo (Narbonne, capt). Replacements: J Miranda (Hindu) for Orengo, 8; F Aramburu (CASI) for Piossek, 8; M Albina (Los Tilos) for F Contepomi, 40; M Ledesma (Castres Olympique) for Mendez, 41; M Shusterman (Plymouth Albion) Durand, 71; E Guinazu (Mendoza RC) for Roncero, 76.

Wales: G Henson (Ospreys); H Luscombe (Dragons), S Parker (Ospreys), T Shanklin (Blues), S Williams (Ospreys); N Robinson (Blues), D Peel (Scarlets); Duncan Jones (Ospreys), H Bennett (Ospreys), A Jones (Ospreys), B Cockbain (Ospreys), G Llewellyn (Unattached), Dafydd Jones (Scarlets), C Charvis (Newcastle Falcons, capt), M Owen (Dragons). Replacements: G Jenkins (Blues) for Duncan Jones, 60; M.Davies (unattached) for Bennett, 60; D Morris (Leicester Tigers) for A Jones, 60; J Thomas (Ospreys) for Llewellyn, 74; M Phillips (Scarlets) for D Peel, 78.

Referee: D Courtney (Ireland).

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