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Ireland in Puma clean-sweep

Sat, 14 Jun 2014 20:43
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Ireland complete a 2-0 clean-sweep of their tour to Argentina, after beating the Pumas 23-17 in the second Test in Tucuman on Saturday.

The teams scored two tries each, but it was the boot of Irish flyhalf Jonathan Sexton that proved the difference.

A week after winning in Argentina for the first time, 29-17 in Resistencia, the vastly more experienced Six Nations champions conceded the lead to the mainly home-based Pumas in the 25th minute and didn't get it back for good until the 50th with the first of their two tries.

The Argentines played most of the match inside their half, but their swarming defence kept turning over Irish possession and launching dangerous breakouts.

"That was an exercise in frustration," Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said.

"It was difficult to get continuity going. It was a disappointing performance by our standards."

With Irish wing Andrew Trimble in the sin-bin for a too-early tackle on counterpart Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, Pumas scrumhalf Martin Landajo darted out of his 22. The counterattack up the right touch appeared to die when Gonzalez Amorosino was enveloped five metres out, but the ball was spread left and fullback Joaquin Tuculet wrong-footed defenders to score.

Nicolas Sanchez's conversion gave Argentina a 10-9 lead into the break following three Jonathan Sexton penalties.

Ireland could blame only themselves for trailing at half-time.

Left wing Simon Zebo stepped into touch with a free run at the tryline, Jamie Heaslip passed forward to Chris Henry five metres out, and fullback Rob Kearney's fine break and run into the 22 was ruined by Sexton chipping straight to the Argentines.

Ireland continued to dominate in the second half but struggled to score. Tuculet made a try-saving tackle on Trimble before scrumhalf Eoin Reddan drew the defence off a ruck and passed inside for Zebo to slice through to the line for 16-10.

Midfielder Darren Cave was penalized for a double movement on the tryline, then flyhalf Sexton went off after a clash of heads and was replaced by Ian Madigan.

Madigan's first try for Ireland, seven minutes from time, put the result out of Argentina's reach, though the Pumas scored late when Gonzalez Amorosino stepped past Madigan and crossed to even the try count.

Man of the match: Lucas González Amorosino was a handful on attack and indeed deserved the try he scored right on full-time. Martín Landajo sparked one of the most classic length-of-the-field tries you will ever see. Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble and Simon Zebo were very busy throughout the match. Jamie Heaslip made a satisfactory comeback, while Paul O'Connell remains the rock in the pack. However, our award goes to Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, who pulled the strings that got his team on the front foot, while his three penalties proved the difference on the scoreboard in the end.

Moment of the match: There were four wonderful tries, but none more so  than Joaquin Tuculet's five-pointer in the 24th minute - sparked when Martin Landajo broke from his tryline, ran 40 metres and put Lucas Amorosino into space. From a ruck close to the Irish line the ball is spun to the left quickly for Tuculet to go over. It is a try that showed just what the Pumas are capable off when they want to play rugby.

Villain of the match: There were two yellow cards - one for foul play and the other a professional foul. Matias Cortese of Argentina and Ireland's Andrew Trimble share this one.

The scorers:

For Argentina:
Tries:
Tuculet, Amorosino
Cons: Sánchez, Iglesias
Pen: Sánchez

For Ireland:
Tries:
Zebo, Madigan
Cons: Sexton, Madigan
Pens: Sexton 3

Yellow cards: Matias Cortese (Argentina, 8 - foul play, no-arms tackle), Andrew Trimble (Ireland, 16 - professional foul, early tackle)

Teams:

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 (captain), 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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