The Ireland Under-21s gained revenge on Argentina for last week's pool match defeat by running in five tries for a 42-20 victory in Wednesday's play-off at the IRB U-21 World Championship.
IRB U-21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Wednesday, June 21
5TH-8TH PLACE PLAY-OFF:
ARGENTINA U-21 20 IRELAND U-21 42, Stade Darragon, Vichy
Scorers: Argentina: Tries: Benjamin Macome, Francisco Albarracin, Gonzalo Sarasquesta; Con: Santiago Fernandez; Pen: Fernandez
Ireland: Tries: Fergus McFadden, Sean Cronin, Kieran Hallett 2, Stuart Philpott; Cons: Hallett 4; Pens: Hallett 3
Kieran Hallett led the Irish superbly at Vichy's Stade Darragon as he scored 27 points - two tries, four conversions and three penalties - to set up a fifth-sixth place play-off for Mark McDermott's men against England on Sunday (Stade Couturier, Cournon d'Auvergne, kick-off 1.30pm Irish time). The English beat Wales 13-11 to qualify through.
Bedford Blues out-half Hallett was in outstanding form as the Irish backs and forwards combined to put in a confident performance, built on a firm defence and fiery attack. The young Pumas' pack was marshalled well throughout and a clinical edge to the Irish play meant the tries were always going to come - four arrived in the second half.
A first-minute try from UCD centre Fergus McFadden catapulted the Irish on the way to a 13-3 interval lead. McFadden speared through the Argentinian midfield to score. Hallett converted and added penalties on 12 and 38 minutes to answer a sole effort from the South Americans' number 10 Santiago Fernandez.
Despite a territorial advantage, the Argentinians could not break down a stubborn Irish defence.
The second half was predictably more open as both sides tired. Argentina struck first as lock Benjamin Macome barrelled over. Shannon hooker Sean Cronin replied on 49 minutes with Hallett converting and adding a penalty for a 23-8 lead.
Argentinian captain and scrum half Francisco Albarracin (60 minutes) and full-back Gonzalo Sarasqueta (68) fired back with tries but Hallett scorched over on 64 and 70 minutes to put the result in little doubt. Regular captain Stuart Philpott, on as a replacement for Cronin, crept over for Ireland's fifth try in injury-time with Hallett converting to finish off his side's best display of the tournament.
ARGENTINA: Gonzalo Sarasquesta; Federico Amelong, Benjamin Urdapilleta, Matias Fernandez Gill, Federico Meyrelles Torres; Santiago Fernandez, Francisco Albarracin (capt); Luis Francisco Piccinini, Matias Cortese, Pedro Ledesma, Benjamin Macome, Agustin Smidth, Joaquin Brinnand, Jose Manuel Roan, Agustin Creevy.
Replacements used: Francisco Gomez Kodela for Piccinini (48 mins), Juan Avila for Ledesma (53), Federico Angelinetti for Macome (55), Carlos Roldan Verges for Roan (59), Nicolas Bruzzone for Brinnand (65), Agustin Figuerola for Fernandez (75), Gonzalo Feijoo for Fernandez Gill (78).
IRELAND: Fionn Carr (Blackrock College RFC); Ian Hanly (UL Bohemians), Tom Gleeson (Cork Constitution), Fergus McFadden (UCD), Matthew Williams (Bristol); Kieran Hallett (Bedford Blues), Matthew D'Arcy (Dublin University); Darragh Hurley (UCC), Sean Cronin (Shannon), Dave Ryan (Highfield), David McGowan (Buccaneers), Devin Toner (Lansdowne), Michael Essex (UCC), David Pollock (Queen's University) (capt), Sean O'Brien (UCD).
Replacements used: Darren Cave (Belfast Harlequins) for McFadden (35 mins-half time), Cave for M Williams (55), Callum Black (Worcester Warriors) for Hurley, Stuart Philpott (Belfast Harlequins) for Cronin, Diarmuid Laffan (Blackrock College RFC) for Essex (all 69). Not used: Daniel Tuohy (Hartpury College/Gloucester), Duncan Williams (UCC), Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College).
Referee: Taizo Hirabayashi (Japan)
IRB UNDER-21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - IRELAND RESULTS/FIXTURES:
Friday, June 9:
France U-21 26 IRELAND U-21 8, Issoire
Tuesday, June 13:
IRELAND U-21 22 Argentina U-21 26, Cournon d'Auvergne
Saturday, June 17:
IRELAND U-21 47 Georgia U-21 0, Issoire
Wednesday, June 21:
IRELAND U-21 42 Argentina U-21 20, Vichy
Sunday, June 25:
5th-6th Place Play-Off - IRELAND U-21 v ENGLAND U-21, Cournon d'Auvergne (kick-off 2.30pm) (1.30pm Irish time)