Rugby Autumn Internationals: Ireland 46-24 Argentina
Ireland blew away Argentina by a record 46-24 at Aviva Stadium on Saturday to end its longest losing run in 14 years.
The performance was as exceptional as it was surprising. Ireland's seven tries were five more than the total in its five straight test defeats since June. Ireland hadn't scored seven tries against a major test team since a win over Italy in the 2007 Six Nations.
Also remarkable for Ireland were the tryscorers: Left winger Craig Gilroy scored the first in his test debut, hooker Richardt Strauss on the occasion of his second cap, and fullback Simon Zebo on his third. Flyhalf Jonathan Sexton, who'd touched down only once in 33 tests, bagged a brace.
Even though Argentina scored its two tries in the last three minutes, Ireland finished with its highest score and biggest win over the Pumas.
Despite the late burst, the Pumas were a disappointment. After beating Wales and running France close, they came into the match as slight favorites. But their tackling was woeful and their confidence ebbed until a late rash of substitutions. Argentina didn't win a lineout until the second half and one of its scrums backpedalled five meters and conceded Sexton's only penalty score.
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The scoreline surpassed Ireland’s previous best against Argentina – a 29-9 triumph at the same venue in 2010 – and represented one of their finest moments in one of Test
rugby’s unlikeliest rivalries.
It was exactly the result and performance they needed after facing criticism for their collapse in their Guinness Series opener against South Africa.
“Everything clicked well,” Gilroy said afterwards. “It’s an exciting time for Irish rugby. I was so nervous coming into the game and I’d got a number of messages from
family and friends. It meant a lot.”
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