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Ireland wrap up series in Tucumán

14th June 2014 21:28

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Ireland secured a 23-17 victory over Argentina on Saturday as tries from Simon Zebo and replacement Ian Madigan won the series in Tucumán.

The triumph at Estadio José Fierro was not as convincing as last week as Argentina fought until the end, with Madigan's try being the difference.

Jonathan Sexton opened the scoring on five minutes off the tee after number eight Antonio Ahualli de Chazal was caught offside at ruck time.

And the Pumas were struggling to keep offences to a minimum as referee Pascal Gauzère didn't waste time to brandish a card, hooker Matías Cortese being shown yellow for no use of the arms in the tackle. The result was Sexton doubling Ireland's lead in the sunshine, with things already looking ominous for the hosts.

That wouldn't prove to be the case though as when Andrew Trimble was shown yellow for taking out a Puma off the ball in a possible try-scoring position, fly-half Nicolás Sánchez stepped up to put his outfit on the board. It was now 3-6 with eighteen minutes played in the second Test.

Ireland did show their quality in attack with a quarter gone when Sexton's cross kick to Zebo led to Lucas González Amorosino getting back in time to ground the wing's chip downfield. It was a warning shot however to the Pumas that Ireland wouldn't be afraid to try things.

The warning was heeded and in fact thrown back in the visitors' court when Argentina chanced their arm from deep, scrum-half Martin Landajo's break leading to Amorosino carrying on the run before recycled ball found Joaquín Tuculet for a popular score.

Following the successful extras, Argentina were now 6-10 ahead with 25 minutes played before Irish fly-half Sexton cut the lead to just a point eight minutes from the break.

Sexton had a chance to push Ireland back into the lead three minutes after the break but was off-target as they struggled for any real spell of possession and territory. If they could get good ball one worried for how the Pumas would contain them in the closing stages.

And so that proved as a nice inside ball from Leinster scrum-half Eoin Reddan finally broke the deadlock for the Irish, his pass sending over the poacher Zebo to make it 16-10.

Darren Cave came agonisingly close to possibly putting the result beyond doubt but was pulled up just short when grounding after a strong carry from Rhys Ruddock. Had he crossed, a successful conversion would have put Joe Schmidt's men thirteen points up.

But that mission would be accomplished by Madigan with eight minutes left as his classy try under the posts made it 23-10 before Amorosino crossed with the final play of the game.

The scorers:

For Argentina:
Tries: Tuculet, Amorosino
Con: Sanchez, Iglesias
Pen: Sanchez
Yellow: M Cortese (no arm tackle - 9 mins)

For Ireland:
Tries: Zebo, Madigan
Con: Sexton, Madigan
Pen: Sexton 3
Yellow: Trimble (off-the-ball tackle - 16 mins)

Argentina: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Lucas González Amorosino, 13 Jerónimo De la Fuente, 12 Gabriel Ascárate, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo (captain), 8 Antonio Ahualli de Chazal, 7 Tomás De la Vega, 6 Rodrigo Báez, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Matías Cortese, 1 Lucas Noguera Paz.
Replacements: 16 Santiago Iglesias Valdez, 17 Bruno Postiglioni, 18 Matías Díaz, 19 Matías Alemanno, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Tomás Cubelli, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Matías Orlando.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Fergus McFadden, 12 Darren Cave, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 James Cronin, 18 Jack McGrath, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Noel Reid.

Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant Referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), John Lacey (Ireland)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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