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
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615