Dan Sheridan/INPHO
# jacob's ladder
Stockdale shines again as Ireland put away Pumas
The Ulster wing grounded two more tries on his fourth cap to close out the November Test window.

Ireland 28

Argentina 19

Sean Farrell reports from Aviva Stadium

IN THE END, some of the old ghosts returned.

A little over two years on from a World Cup quarter-final trouncing, Ireland dispatched a decent, but tired looking Argentina on a cool night at the Aviva Stadium.

However, the Pumas made life more difficult than it needed to be for Ireland – they always do – scoring three second half tries to take away whatever comfort Ireland had earned when opening up a 20 -0 lead with a brace from Jacob Stockdale..

With the chilly conditions demanding either gloves or a deep plunge into pockets for supporters, there was an eerie quiet around the ground despite the excitement generated by a fluid first-half display from Ireland’s front-liners.

The new midfield partnership of Chris Farrell and Bundee Aki, put together midweek due to Robbie Henshaw’s hamstring injury, was not without its hiccups, but the skill-set of the two powerful centres gave Ireland new angles to work off in attack.

In the 21st minute, Farrell created one such angle with a glorious blind reverse pass into the path of Sexton who tore through the gap neck and neck with Stockdale before drawing Ramiro Moyano and sending the 21-year-old in for a third try in his four Tests. And he had a fourth to look forward to.

With Cian Healy continuing his mean form, there was little to sniff at the set-piece for Argentina either and the loosehead’s efforts helped Ireland build a 6 – 0 advantage before the big breakthrough came.

Jacob Stockdale runs in a try Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

The gap could have been a little wider than 13 – 0 at half-time as an early masterful touch from Conor Murray spun back off the turf and up for debutant Adam Byrne. Unfortunately for the Kildare man the spin was just too wicked to allow him clamp firm hands on the ball.

The theory that Argentina returned to the pitch a good two minutes before ireland because they were eager to bring this long season of untold in-flight meals to a close were debunked by full-time. However, the extra time exposed to the elements left them looking cold and stiff two minutes into the second half as Sexton put Stockdale through a gap and the Ulster man changed direction to beat Joaquin Tuculet to the corner.

To Tuculet’s credit, he did look back to himself to produce Argentina’s finest moments of the match.

A period of Puma pressure brought an advantage call after Tadhg Furlong and Chris Farrell combined for a hit on Tomas Lezana. After a lengthy TMO review, Mathieu Raynal awarded Tuculet his try despite a suspicion of offside from Sanchez’ grubber through. The fullback would later spin a terrific pass wide to put Juan Mannuel Leguizamon into the corner for a 70th minute try.

Before that second try was shipped, Stander had forced his way over the line with a little help from Devin Toner. That was the moment tempers frayed and Sean O’Brien was the target of some serious Argentine angst before being called ashore.

Adam Byrne Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

In a month where Schmidt has worked to test new players and combinations, there was a surprising end to Byrne’s debut day as he slotted in as outside centre for the closing 20 minutes of the match.

It wasn’t necessarily down to the Kildare man, but that final quarter proved more nervy than it needed to be. Though Ramiro Moyano’s last minute try only brought the visitors within nine points at the finish, the result was in enough doubt that Sexton opted to aim for the posts with a 75th minute penalty.

If it was revenge for 2015 you were after, three tries apiece and a late Argentina flourish wasn’t the brand of riposte to sate that hunger.



Tries: J Stockdale (2) CJ Stander

Conversions: J Sexton (2/3)

Penalties: J Sexton (3/3)


Tries: J Tuculet, JM Leguizamon, R Moyano

Conversions: N Sanchez (2/3)

Penalties: E Boffelli (0/1)

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Adam Byrne, Chris Farrell (Andrew Conway ’60), Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Jonathan Sexton (Ian Keatley ’75), Conor Murray (Luke McGrath ’76):  Cian Healy (Dave Kilcoyne ’59),  Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong (John Ryan ’66);  James Ryan (Devin Toner ’48), Iain Henderson;  Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien (Rhys Ruddock ’63),  CJ Stander

Argentina: Joaquin Tuculet, Ramiro Moyano, Matias Moroni,  Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias (Jeronimo de la Fuente ’56), Emiliano Boffelli (Sebastian Cancelliere ’67);  Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo (Gonzalo Bertranou ’57):  Santiago Garcia Botta (Lucas Noguera ’64), Agustin Creevy (Julian Montoya ’59), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro (Enrique Pieretto ’64);  Matias Alemanno (Guido Petti ’56), Tomas Lavanini (Juan Manuel Leguizamon ’64);  Pablo Matera, Marcos Kremer, Tomas Lezana

Referee Mathieu Raynal

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

As it happened: Ireland v Argentina, November internationals

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel