It was very much a game of two halves in Iffley Road on Saturday, where Ireland were beaten 30-19 by Argentina to have their hopes of reaching the semi-final dashed.
It was very much a game of two halves in Iffley Road on Saturday, where Ireland were beaten 30-19 by Argentina to have their hopes of reaching the semi-final dashed. Going into the game the Irish were under no illusions of what they had to do. They needed to win and to score four tries in order to secure the all important bonus point. And for the opening half hour, the Irish were bang on schedule to deliver on both fronts.
They scored the first try in the opening minutes when Richard Lane took a nice line on Michael Rainey’s pass, and five minutes later they scored their second, this time Ciaran Potts muscling his way over from a line-out close to the Argentine line.
The Argentines came back with a try from Francisco Bosch but this didn’t phase the Irish who responded with a try from the excellent Niall Ronan, a score that was converted by Rainey to leave the Irish in front, 19-5.
From then on things began to go a little pear-shaped. Argentina scored a try through their prop Euseaid Guiveau and the conversion left just a score (19-12) separating the sides at the break.
The Irish were rocked by an early second half try from Marcello Torres and Cordone gave them the lead with a penalty in the 50th minute.
After that the Argentines used their strength up front and pace in the backs to pin the Irish down and they went further ahead with a try three minutes before the end of normal time, scoring another deep in injury time to secure for themselves a place in Wednesday’s semi-final.
Ireland. Peter O’Brien (Tommy Bowe 53); Richard Lane, Keith Matthews, Glen Telford, John Hearty; Michael Rainey (capt, David McAllister 67), Fiach O’Loughlin (Conor O’Loughlin 20); Jason Moran (Eugene McGovern 53), Rory Best, Declan Fitzpatrick; David Gannon, Neil McComb (Simon Crawford 67); John Muldoon, Niall Ronan, Ciaran Potts.
Sin bin: Crawford (80mins).
Argentina. Francisco Bosch; Tomas De Vedia, Juan Ignacio Gauthier, Mariano Lecot (Horacio San Martin 72), Leopoldo Villaneuva; Alfredo Cordone, Marcelo Torres (Alfredo Lalanne 77); Eusebio Guinazu, Alberto Vernet Basualdo, Joaquin Gonzalez (Pablo Henn 69); Esteban Lozada, Pedro Zabaloy; Andres Bordoy (Juan Manuel Leguizamon 55), Alvaro Galindo, Jose Ignacio Ghidara (Facundo Barni 77).