Monday, 10 December, 2018

Ireland struggle to put down Pumas 28-17

Jordan Larmour and Sean O'Brien will both start for Ireland against Argentina Jordan Larmour and Sean O'Brien will both start for Ireland against Argentina
Cassandra Castillo | 11 November, 2018, 01:46

"Both trained well today but we didn't want to go into an Argentine test match with guys who aren't fully fit", Schmidt said.

Ireland won the game at Aviva Stadium thanks to try's from Kieran Marmion, Bundee Aki and Luke McGrath, while Johnny Sexton kept the scoreboard ticking over with conversions and penalty kicks, the Leinster ace missed two kicks at goal.

Johne Murphy believes it's important for Ireland but certainly not crucial ahead of next year's World Cup in the land of the rising sun. "They were hard at the back, hard off the ruck and hard off the line and really squeezed us".

Along with out-half Nicolas Sanchez, Argentina offer much in attack, though defensively they are vulnerable and, up front, nowhere near as formidable as used to be traditionally the case.

"There's lots to work on".

A late Sexton penalty — his fifth goalkick from seven — capped the scoring in a match with five lead changes.

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"But that's a good way for us to try to cope and test ourselves against a really good side, which we know Argentina are". "We will look to see how we get better, how we improve and build into next week again", he added.

"I think next week is a massive game in terms of a barometer of where they are going into next year but it's be all and end all".

"It will be really tough next week, we are going to have to go and make it happen, it's not just going to come to us".

"This team have the capability of doing that of having a day at one side and then parking that but ultimately for most of this week, I'd imagine they've only been talking about Argentina, maybe they've given an hour to the All-Blacks but I'd imagine not I'd say that's done, parked and they'll pick that up again on Monday".

The 31-year-old - one of the stand-out players of the British & Irish Lions' 1-1 Test series draw with world champions New Zealand last year - went off with his face creased in agony and then sat on the sidelines for the second period in what was his first Test in nearly a year.

Argentina, ranked ninth in the world, have rarely lacked team spirit but the questionable rewards for selecting from players based at home - and playing Super Rugby for the Jaguares who Ledesma coached before his Pumas role - are potentially baring fruit through the obvious continuity of selection, although the policy of ignoring overseas players has been relaxed.

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