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Five things Wales can expect from their rivals Argentina

WALES began their Autumn international series with an abject defeat to Australia on Saturday, but have the chance to get back on track this weekend when Argentina visit the Principality Stadium.

Jeronimo de la Fuente of Argentina goes past Bernard Foley of Australia during the The Rugby Championship match between Argentina and Australia at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham - 08/10/2016 ©Matthew Impey / Wired Photos Picture by Matt Impey +44 7789 130347

Jeronimo de la Fuente of Argentina – 08/10/2016
©Matthew Impey / Wired Photos
Picture by Matt Impey +44 7789 130347

The Pumas won their first game of the Autumn against Japan on Saturday, following their Rugby Championship campaign where they beat South Africa but still finished bottom of the table.

So what can Wales expect when they welcome the South Americans to Cardiff?

  1. Attacking rugby – and plenty of tries

Australia ripped Wales’s defence to shreds on Saturday with their direct, running rugby and things are not going to get any easier against Argentina.

The Pumas love to run at defenders and attempt spectacular offloads, a tactic which usually results in a lot of tries, much like the classic French teams of the 1990s.

Fly-half Nicolas Sanchez, who scored two tries in the win over Japan and 22-year-old wing Santiago Cordero are the key backs to watch out for.

  1. Grunt up front

Argentina aren’t all about running though and they still possess a formidable pack that can compete on an equal footing with the Northern Hemisphere teams.

Hooker Augustin Creevy, Argentina’s captain, is an experienced and wily scrummager and will really fancy his chances against Ken Owens in their direct battle.

Creevy is ably supported by the rest of his pack. One forward to watch out for will be second row Guido Petti Pagadizabal, 21, who has already played 21 times for his country.

  1. Familiarity with each other

Argentina stepped onto the global club stage in 2016 with the introduction of their rugby franchise ‘the Jaguares’ into Super Rugby.

This means that virtually all of the team play together week-in-week-out against teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Santiago Cordero -©Matthew Impey / Wired Photos<br /> Picture by Matt Impey +44 7789 130347

Santiago Cordero -©Matthew Impey / Wired Photos
Picture by Matt Impey +44 7789 130347

There are no other international teams on the planet who train and play together as regularly as Argentina. This gives them a big advantage.  

  1. But…Wales will have chances to score

The downside of playing rugby as expansively as Argentina do is that they leave themselves open to being hit on the counter attack.

The Pumas dangerous backs love to throw some questionable offloads which could easily be intercepted, as well as trying to run the ball from their own 22, inviting pressure in dangerous areas.

Wales will get chances, and they can score plenty of points if Argentina are a little off colour.

  1. An even game

Wales will obviously have to improve massively if they are to compete against Argentina, but the Pumas, for all of their quality, are less of a challenge than Australia.

Despite their attacking flair, Argentina still finished bottom of the Rugby Championship table, losing to Australia twice – 36-20 away and 33-21 at home.

They are good, but not as good as the Wallabies. This should be a much closer game than last weekend’s defeat for Wales.

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