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Mental Preparation Pays Dividends

Mental Preparation Pays Dividends

“It was very physical game. Because of that there were a lot of mistakes. Guys were getting the hell knocked out of each other. It wasn’t pretty but I didn’t think it was ever going to be.”

Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan looked more relieved than jubilant after the game, after his side had come through a tough Test against the Pumas

Argentina are a very good side, very powerful. We knew that all along and saw out there today what they’re capable of. They made us work hard. It was a nervous type of match because there was a lot at stake. It was very physical game and because of that there were a lot of mistakes because guys were getting the hell knocked out of each other. It wasn’t pretty but I didn’t think it was ever going to be. It was always going to something of a war of attrition and in the first half I think we got beaten up a bit.

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” They were driving the lineouts. The ref was giving us a tough time over how we were trying to stop the maul. Then in the second half we began to motor a bit better. Began to win drop-outs and more line-out ball. We got some good go-forward ball in the second half and when we did we punished them.

” We never going to win by much but we got there in the end. We got out of the Pool of Death which was the whole point of coming here. Bringing on Ronan was purely a tactical thing. We wanted to put more ball in behind them. It took him a few minutes to get up to the speed of the game.

“At the end of the day we got the result we wanted. The lads kept their composure. Kept plugging away. They showed a lot of guts, they really did. Maybe in the past we might have buckled in the face of such pressure. But not anymore. We were mentally prepared for it.

“We’ll enjoy tonight and start to work on the Australian game tomorrow.”

Scrum-half Peter Stringer agreed with his coach that they had achieved their primary objective.

“The main aim at the start of the competition was to get to the knock-out stages and we’ll be able to enjoy next week’s game a bit better knowing that we’ve qualified.

” It was tough today. We know how the Argentinians play. They try and frustrate teams so it was just a matter of holding onto the ball. Being pateint with it and try and get into their half and kick our penalties.

“We were expecting a close game. They’ve always been close matches when we’ve played Argentina. So in those closing minutes it was a matter of keeping a cool head and not giving ball away too easily.

” Now the next step is the game against Australia. We’ll be going out to try and win that. I think we’ll be able to relax a bit against them now that we’ve qualified and enjoy it a bit better. There were a lot of nerves out there today and because of that there were mistakes. But I think we’ll be in a better position to give a better account of ourselves next weekend.”