Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Ireland vs Argentina - Report - Friendly 2018 - 10 Nov, 2018

Ireland vs Argentina - Report - Friendly 2018 - 10 Nov, 2018

Their losses could prove a spanner in the works for head coach Joe Schmidt's plans with world champions New Zealand due next Saturday in a clash of the top two-ranked teams in the world.

However Ireland looked far more like the team that had won 15 of their last 16 tests and a try from replacement scrum-half Luke McGrath, following a decisive lineout steal, and five more points from Sexton closed out a far from guaranteed victory.

Argentina should provide a testing examination provided they are not too exhausted having come out of the Rugby Championship with two victories under new head coach Mario Ledesma, including their first in Australia since 1983.

Former Ireland Rugby International Paul Wallace says that Sean O'Brien has been the most outstanding back row player for Ireland in the professional era and should be a certainty to start despite the competition for places in the back-row.

"Yeah, I think that's the strongest pack that we have", began O'Driscoll, referring to a forward line containing the likes of Tadhg Furlong, Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander.

"I think Joe really feels as though Argentina are still a bogey team for us, he's still scarred from that World Cup quarter final". Having experimented somewhat in Chicago against the Italians, Schmidt has named a much more experienced line-up this time around, with Rory Best returning to captain the side and Sean O'Brien making his first Irish appearance in a year.

Not only that but, just four games after taking charge of the Pumas, Ledesma had earned his squad a first win on Australian soil for 35 years.

"We want to go out and win and keep this home record we have".

O'Brien went off in the 37th minute of the game with his arm being supperted in his jersey like a sling and the "tullow tank" knew as he was walking off the pitch the extent of his latest injury set back.

"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". Don't get me wrong they've talked about the All Blacks already in November camp when they got together for the U.S. week and they went away and those 10 players stayed around that are going to be largely involved in that All Blacks game.

"Even the things we did well, we can probably do a little bit better".

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.

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