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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 June 2007, 21:08 GMT 22:08 UK
Argentina 16-0 Ireland
Brian Carney (right) tries to get past Nicolas Fernandez Miranda
Brian Carney (right) saw little of the ball in Saturday's Test
Argentina: (6) 16
Tries: M Contepomi
Con: Todeschini
Pens: Todeschini (3)

Ireland: (0) 0

Argentina held Ireland scoreless as they grafted to victory over the under-strength visitors in the second and final Test match in Buenos Aires.

Ireland struggled throughout and Jeremy Staunton missed three penalties which would have kept his side in the game.

Federico Todeschini hit two first-half penalties as the Irish failed to make intense pressure count.

Todeschini added another penalty and Manuel Contepomi's late try completed Argentina's 2-0 series victory.

The game offered several Irish players the chance to press their claims for World Cup selection but Eddie O'Sullivan is unlikely to be have been impressed by an error-ridden display.

606: DEBATE

Ireland got sucked into a forward battle in the early stages and when the ball did go wide, passes were spilled on numerous occasions.

The home side took the lead in the ninth minute with fly-half Todeschini slotting a penalty from 30 metres after Frankie Sheahan had conceded a penalty.

The Irish responded by charging into the Argentine 22 but scrum-half Eoin Reddan knocked on just as the visitors appeared to have numbers out wide.

Staunton made a reasonably assured start for Ireland and he went close to levelling in the 25th minute when his long-range penalty was inches wide.

Simon Best and his Irish colleagues got sucked into a forward-dominated game
Ireland captain Simon Best is tackled by Rimas Alvarez Kairelis

Ireland had a try-scoring opportunity in the 26th minute after Alan Quinlan had charged down Todeschini's attempted clearance but Mick O'Driscoll lost possession five metres short of the line.

The visitors were camped in the Argentine 22 in the 10 minutes before half-time but amazingly, they failed to register a score.

Staunton's break had the Irish charging at the Argentine line but Bryan Young was held up.

More intense Irish pressure set up a straightforward penalty chance for Staunton from a central position 20 metres out but the fly-half pulled the opportunity badly wide.

To rub salt into Irish wounds, debutant Shane Jennings needlessly conceded a penalty after charging into a ruck from the side and Todeschini slotted the kick to put Argentina 6-0 up at the interval.

Staunton's struggles with the boot continued when he missed another penalty from 35 metres eight minutes after half-time and his opposite number Todeschini extended Argentina's lead to nine points on 56 minutes.

Ireland's play became increasingly ragged in the final 20 minutes with not even the introduction of livewire Neil Best rallying the visitors.

With victory already assured, Argentina put the tired Irish under intense pressure in the closing minutes and Manuel Contepomi broke through Brian Carney's dreadful attempted tackle to seal the home side's victory with Todeschini adding the conversion.

The game suggested that the much-vaunted strength in depth in Irish rugby is not as extensive as touted in some quarters.


Argentina: F Serra, T De Vedia, H Senillosa, M Contepomi, F Leonelli, F Todeschini, N Fernandez Miranda, J Fernandez Lobbe, J Manuel Leguizamon, Martin Durand (capt), R Alvarez Kairelis, E Lozada, S Gonzalez, P Gambarini, M Ayerza.
Replacements: Guinazu for Bonorino (66), Bouza for Lozada (69), Schusterman for Durand (75).
Not Used: Henn, N. Fernandez Miranda, J. Fernandez Miranda, Agulla.

Ireland: G Murphy; B Carney, B Murphy, G Duffy, R Kearney; J Staunton, E Reddan; B Young, F Sheahan. S Best, capt, L Cullen, M O'Driscoll, A Quinlan, S Jennings, S Ferris.
Replacements: Fitzgerald for G. Murphy (80), Lewis for B. Murphy (68), Buckley for Young (75), Jackman for Sheahan (75), O'Kelly for O'Driscoll (54), N Best for Ferris (48).
Not Used: Boss.

Att: 40,000

Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand).

SEE ALSO
Argentina 22-20 Ireland
26 May 07 |  Irish
Argentina newcomers to face Irish
09 May 07 |  Rugby Union


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