Wales' George North scores a try despite the attention of Argentina's Emiliano Boffelli. Photo: Diego Lima/Reuters

BUENOS AIRES – Wales got their short South American tour off to the perfect start on Saturday when their under-strength side easily beat a lacklustre Argentina team 23-10.

The win in San Juan was Wales’ 12th triumph in 17 encounters with the Argentines, and their fourth win in a row following victories over South Africa, France and Italy.

It also prevented a southern-hemisphere clean sweep on the first day of the June internationals.

New Zealand recovered from a first-half deficit to overwhelm France, Australia ended Ireland’s winning run and South Africa produced a remarkable comeback to hand England a fourth straight defeat. Japan beat Italy in the day’s other tier one clash.

Wales came to the southern hemisphere without captain Sam Warburton and regulars Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Dan Biggar and Taulupe Faletau.

However, their replacements in a young side were commanding against a static Pumas team, especially in the first half.

Although Argentina took an early lead through a Nicolas Sanchez penalty, tries from James Davies and George North, combined with two conversions and a penalty from Rhys Patchell, helped Wales to go in 17-3 up at the break.

Patchell added another penalty before the home side came back into the game in the last quarter, with a try from Tomas Lezana and a conversion from Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias.

However, Gareth Anscombe added a final penalty for Wales to round out the scoring.

The two sides meet again next Saturday in Santa Fe.

Reuters