4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
A dominant force during his 72 minutes on the pitch, Jonathan Sexton converted his own 16th minute try and Richardt Strauss and Simon Zebo followed up with their first international tries.
Nicolas Sanchez kicked his fourth successful penalty to close the gap for Argentina to 24-12, however Declan Kidney's men soon wrapped up the result.
Tommy Bowe took his enviable strike rate with Ireland to 26 tries in 51 outings, his second half double sandwiching Sexton's second touchdown of the afternoon.
The dominant out-half ran up his highest points tally in an international to date, finishing with 19 points before he was replaced late on by Ronan O'Gara.
There were a number of firsts for Ireland on the day. Despite late scores from Tomas Leonardi and Argentina captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, it was a record winning margin of 22 points for Ireland against the Pumas - beating the 29-9 victory from two years ago.
The 46 points surpassed the 32-point haul from a 1999 clash at the old Lansdowne Road, while Ireland emerged as the inaugural winners of the Admiral Brown Cup - a new trophy to mark the nations' Test encounters.
Of crucial importance given the impending draw for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, this win has secured Ireland's place in the top eight of the IRB World Rankings. They will be in the second band of seeds for Monday week's draw in London.
Ireland's third Dublin win over Argentina in four years did not get off to the greatest of starts for the home side.
Gonzalo Camacho put a foot in touch as he gathered a long kick-off from Sexton, resulting in a scrum for the tourists on the halfway.
A ruck offence then gave Sanchez the opportunity to open the scoring, but his third minute penalty came back off the left hand post.
Man-of-the-match Donnacha Ryan, who was a tower of strength throughout, stole a lineout and Ireland soon settled as they set a high tempo.
Backs and forwards combined in a period of slick handling, fast-paced attacking and confidence-building ball retention.
That early control led to two half-breaks from Bowe and the establishing of strong foundations in the set piece, an area Argentina had impressed in against France.
The game was 11 minutes' old when Gilroy exhibited some fine footwork to leave the Argentinian defence dazzled and get Ireland on the scoreboard.
Peter O'Mahony's clean lineout take set up Sexton for a pop pass back inside, from which the Ulster youngster sidestepped past Sanchez and Camacho to score to the left of the posts.
It was a serious signal of Ireland's intent under the guidance of new captain Jamie Heaslip, whose back row colleague Chris Henry and the tireless Strauss also led by example in every deed.
Sexton, standing flat and thriving from Conor Murray's accurate feeds, added the conversion for 7-0.
A soft penalty at the restart - O'Mahony was whistled up for blocking - meant that Sanchez clawed back three points immediately.
As the pace continued to quicken, Ireland showed their teeth in attack again. Gilroy ran smartly and then Murray unleashed a blindside break, Gordon D'Arcy's inside ball sending Sexton slicing past two defenders before his 6ft 2in frame helped him reach over for a terrific try.
He converted his own try, only for Argentina to quickly respond once more as Sanchez landed his second penalty to punish Keith Earls for not releasing the tackled player.
Ireland soon swept downfield to put the Pumas on the back foot. Earls went close to turning Zebo's grubber kick into a try out wide on the right.
But from the resulting lineout won by Ryan, hooker Strauss peeled away from a maul to touch down in the corner despite a last-ditch challenge from the covering Martin Landajo.
Sexton pushed a difficult conversion wide of the target, the first miss of what had been a largely clinical opening quarter from Kidney's charges.
The brightest spark, Gilroy, beat three men on a run from deep as Ireland used possession intelligently and provided plentiful ball for their potent back-three.
Argentina threatened Ireland's try-line for the first time in the 25th minute, a pacy move through the middle putting scrum half Landajo away. A combination of Ryan and Zebo brought him down short of the posts.
An offside call against set up Sanchez's third successful penalty. The score-for-score nature of this entertaining Test continued with Ireland conjuring up their fourth try.
Bowe brilliantly collected a garryowen from Sexton, beating Juan Manuel Leguizamon to it. Ireland grasped the momentum from that, with props Cian Healy and Mike Ross pounding into contact.
Sexton called for the ball on the blindside with Argentina lacking numbers, Murray's classy backhanded pass teed up the out-half for a cut-out delivery to Zebo who pounced to score beside the left corner flag.
Sexton's conversion attempt bounced back off the left upright and Sanchez suffered another miss before the break, watching his 38th minute penalty strike go wide.
Armed with a healthy half-time lead of 24-9, Ireland were eager to finish the job in the second half but the Pumas pulled back another three points early on.
Sanchez lobbed over his fourth penalty goal of the afternoon after referee Jaco Peyper pinged Bowe for not rolling away quickly enough.
In one of the tie's defining moments, Ireland got the shove on in a 44th minute to lay down another marker. Sexton rewarded his forwards by converting the resulting penalty.
The Irish number 10 provided another try-scoring assist just three minutes later, following a robust ruck clear-out from Mike McCarthy.
Sexton dangled a kick over the top for Bowe to dash onto ahead of two retreating Pumas, collecting the ball on the bounce for a well-taken score.
The woodwork denied Sexton off the kicking tee, although he was celebrating his third international try barely three minutes later.
D'Arcy's clever switch back inside added the thrust and a bout of quick recycling created the opening for Ryan to feed Sexton who outmanoeuvred two defenders on his way to the line.
This time the two-try ace expertly added the conversion from the left, extending Ireland's advantage to 39-12 with the promise of more.
Argentina came more into it, in an attacking sense, as the final quarter approached. They lacked their usual cutting edge though, blowing an overlap on the right after a sniping run from Camacho.
Their frustration at the 6-0 try count and an ineffective set piece spilled over when debutant prop Maximiliano Bustos was sin-binned for throwing the ball at Healy.
A scrappy spell ensued during which both coaches sent on some fresh legs, with long-serving lock Donncha O'Callaghan coming on to win his 90th Ireland cap.
As Kidney emptied the bench, David Kilcoyne, Michael Bent and Iain Henderson were introduced for their second appearances at this level.
Ireland were back in try-scoring mood in the 73rd minute. Earls used quick ball to send a deft kick through, Zebo got a boot to the bouncing ball and it sat up nicely for Bowe to complete his brace.
The Monaghan man has scored seven tries in his last seven outings for Ireland, including try doubles against Italy, France and Argentina. O'Gara, on as a replacement, converted Bowe's latest five-pointer to make it 46-12.
A late spurt from Argentina reduced the arrears somewhat before the final whistle. Replacement Leonardi spun to his left to score amid a pile of bodies, and a quick tap penalty resulted in Fernandez Lobbe crashing over in injury-time.
|Ireland Score Card|
|Argentina Score Card|
|Juan Martin Hernandez||1||2|
|Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe||1||5|