Planet Rugby

Ireland end on a high

28th November 2010 13:42

Share:

ireland peter stringer

Ireland: Power past Pumas

Ireland ended their November Test series on a high thanks to a hard-fought 29-9 victory over Argentina at Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

It wasn't pretty, it wasn't ugly either - but it was effective as fly-half Jonathan Sexton contributed seventeen points with the boot to keep his untroubled side ahead of an uninspired Pumas outfit.

A late try from Gordon D'Arcy in injury time flattered Ireland's final scoreline a wee bit, but the end result was never in doubt as the home side were always on top in a rather dour contest.

Once they fell behind, Argentina's conservative game-plan was badly exposed and, in the end, they had only a trio of Felipe Contepomi penalties to show for their efforts. The Pumas pivot missed three shots at goal, and Argentina also failed to sink two drop-goal attempts.

Freezing conditions greeted both teams, with the Aviva Stadium passing a morning pitch inspection despite heavy snowfall over the last 48 hours. However if the crowd expected to be warmed up with an entertaining game of rugby - they were to be highly disappointed.

After a diabolical display against the Springboks, Ireland picked up a scratchy win over Samoa, and then tested the All Blacks with a determined but ultimately insufficient effort. Their first-half performance against Argentina was encouraging, although their consistency left a lot to be desired.

The hosts showed some resilience in the first 10 minutes when Argentina enjoyed terrific momentum through the rolling maul and scrum. But while the Pumas started strongly up front, their discipline cost them dear and it didn't take long for Sexton to get the first three-pointer on the board.

With the momentum provided by the pack, the Irish runners produced several good touches. Stephen Ferris rounded off some sparkling interplay between forwards and backs in the 21st minute.

The blindside flanker, who passed a fitness test on his ankle to make the starting XV, was left with a simple finish out on the right after his back-row colleague Jamie Heaslip had burst through and drawn the final line of defence.

Sexton converted and added three further penalties before half-time to put Ireland 19-3 up at the break, the Pumas' only points having come via Contepomi's 31st-minute penalty.

The second half was a tight affair, clear-cut chances few and far between as both sides instead relied on the boot of their respective fly-halves.

Sexton added a further penalty to take his personal tally to 17 before making way for veteran Ronan O'Gara for the final 12 minutes.

Contepomi, who also missed three penalty chances, landed kicks of his own in the 58th and 68th minutes to reduce Argentina's deficit to 22-9. But Ireland remained resolute in defence and never looked likely to surrender their lead.

Replacement Keith Earls was denied a late try when the video referee ruled he had knocked on but moments later centre D'Arcy did manage to seal the win in style, collecting his own chip over the top before touching down.

The scorers:

For Ireland:
Try: Ferris
Con: Sexton, O'Gara
Pens: Sexton 5

For Argentina:
Pens: Contepomi 3

Ireland: 15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Brian O'Driscoll (c) 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Peter Stringer , 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 David Wallace, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Mick O'Driscoll, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements:16 Damien Varley, 17 Tom Court, 18 Devin Toner, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Eoin Reddan , 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Keith Earls.

Argentina: 15 Martin Rodriguez, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Marcelo Bosch, 11 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 10 Felipe Contepomi (c), 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Julio Farias Cabello, 6 Genaro Fessia, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Mariano Galarza, 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Santiago Guzman, 20 Alvaro Galindo, 21 Alfredo Lalanne, 22 Lucas Borges.

Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411