The similarities between Buenos Aires and Cardiff are few and far between, but a juicy steak and a glass of Malbec, pre match, can fool the senses, and the emotions, prior to an exciting encounter at the Principality Stadium between Los Pumas and Wales.
Temperatures in the Welsh capital were more Cordoba than Cardiff, as the thermometer hit 90 degrees, it was so sultry and steamy you could almost hear the Latin orchestra in the back streets.
In Argentina the tango developed in the working class neighbourhoods at the end of the 19th century, its lyrics speak of nostalgia, sadness and a lament of lost love.
But Cardiff is not exactly Buenos Aires, in fact the only tango you’re likely to find here will be in the fizzy drinks section of Tesco Express.
The Pumas have been in a tango state of mind since the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where they showed us their “moves”, but have been somewhat out of step since that wonderful tournament, they rediscovered their rhythm wonderfully in November 2020 when they beat the All Blacks 25-15 in Sydney.
Wales were supposed to playing Los Pumas in Argentina this summer , but coronavirus ensured the two test series was switched to the Welsh capital.
Wales were slightly flat footed when the teams drew 20-20 last Saturday and were looking for a more polished performance in this series decider.
They dispensed with the tango and went for a “Fox” trot as Jon Davies made a break straight from the Argentinian kick off, sadly for Wales it proved to be a long hard afternoon where they were outmuscled, and failed to gain any momentum as error after error strangled their efforts.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Wales were missing 27 players through British and Irish Lions duty and injury, whilst this was a full strength Argentinian outfit.
Wales took the lead after a wonderful move finished by an Owen Lane touchdown, however two first half tries for Moroni and Cubelli along with Nico Sanchez boot gave the Pumas a 17-8 half time lead.
Wales scored the opening points of the second half with a Jarrod Evans penalty narrowing Argentina’s lead to 17-11, but the home side barely fired a shot after that, and 3 penalties from Sanchez plus his conversion of Pablo Matera’s try gave the Pumas a convincing 33-11 victory.
So after 14 internationals it was Wales last dance of a long season whilst Argentina look forward to tripping the light fantastic in the Rugby Championship, they certainly didn’t put a foot wrong in Cardiff.