Ireland claimed their third win in three November Tests with a clinical 28-19 victory over Argentina at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The hosts dominated the first-half and went into the break 13-0 ahead. The Pumas were on the attack for much of the second-half, but Joe Schmidt’s side survived the onslaught and took their chances at the other end to secure the win.
Ireland went on the front foot straight from the kick-off and won an early penalty right under the posts following a spell of pressure. Johnny Sexton slotted it over for the opening three points in the fourth minute. 10 minutes later, Sexton nailed another simple shot at poles after Argentina were penalised for collapsing the scrum.
The first try of the game came 20 minutes in. Chris Farrell sent Sexton through a gap in the Argentine defence and the fly-half gave the inside pass to Jacob Stockdale for the finish before adding the extra two points.
Argentina grew into the game as the first-half progressed, but Ireland struck again in the second minute after half-time. Stockdale broke through the visitors’ defence and sprinted to the corner to score. Sexton converted from the touchline with an inch-perfect kick.
However, the visitors finally scored in the 55th minute as Joaquin Tuculet ran onto Nicolas Sanchez’s kick to finish the move. Sanchez made no mistake in converting.
Ireland struck back in the 63rd minute following an attacking lineout as CJ Stander broke away from the maul and powered over. Sexton failed to convert as his kick hit the post.
However, Argentina piled on the pressure and their persistence payed off in the 71st minute. Tuculet passed the ball to Juan Manuel Leguizamon on the left and he managed to ground the ball before Rob Kearney could push him into touch. Sanchez did not convert this time.
Four minutes afterwards, Ireland won a penalty and Sexton stretched their lead back beyond two converted tries.
Argentina finished off with another consolation try as Gonzalo Bertranou put a kick through for Ramiro Moyano to finish on the left. Sanchez converted with the last kick of the game — but it was too, little, too late and Ireland had the last laugh.
Tries: Stockdale 2, Stander
Cons: Sexton 2
Pens: Sexton 3
Tries: Tuculet, Leguizamon, Moyano
Cons: Sanchez 2
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 James Ryan, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Andrew Conway
Argentina: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Tomas Lezana, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy (c), 1 Santiago Garcia Botta
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere