10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
And it was the way the Irish adapted to the conditions that pleased O'Sullivan no end. We knew there was never going to be much continuity, we were expecting trench warfare and it was good to be able to do that. The Argentines are used to the close quarter stuff and they're good at it but today we didn't just match them, we surpassed them in that aspect. And the coach was quick to praise the work of forwards coach Niall O'Donovan for a display that had the O'Donovan hallmark stamped all over it. Our set piece was excellent, the line-outs superb and I'm delighted for Niall, his hard work is now paying off. Our line-out for example is right up their with the best in the world and it's credit to Niall and the hard work he has put in over the year. It began in New Zealand during the summer and we are now beginning to see the results.
"It wasn't a spectacular game," continued O'Donovan," not a champagne performance by any means but it was a hard job well done. If you'd asked me a month ago would I settle for three from three I'd have taken that. Today we were asked to grind out a win and I'm delighted with the way the lads were able and willing to do that.
If O'Sullivan was generous in his praise for his management colleague O'Donovan, team captain Brian O'Driscoll made special mention of his team-mate, Girvan Dempsey. "I thought he had a fabulous game. I'd say it was his best performance ever in an Irish jersey. His bravery under the high ball was incredible. He didn't put a foot wrong all day." O'Sullivan agreed and the praise was well justified. Dempsey was immense throughout and no-one can now have any doubts about his right to the number 15 jersey after this display - coupled with the ones against Fiji and Australia. He joins an elite band of players whose name becomes automatically pencilled in to Ireland team sheets as will be the case for some time to come.