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Irish dreams shattered as Argentina runs rampant

Ireland v Argentina - Image by Eoin Callaghan

Ireland v Argentina – Image by Eoin Callaghan.

Argentina defeated Ireland 43 – 20 in the Rugby World Cup quarter final and will go on to play Australia in the Semi Final.

The Pumas had a seventeen point lead over Ireland in the first thirteen minutes but Ireland narrowed it to a 3 point deficit going into the last quarter of the match. However, Argentina found fresh footing in the last twenty minutes and took the game out of Irelands reach.

Ireland was missing some of their key players. Paul O’Connell, the heart of the team, and Jonathon Sexton, the brains, were both injured along with Peter O’Mahoney in the France match the week before. Then Tommy Bowe was injured during the match.

Luke Fitzgerald, Tommy Bowe’s replacement, scored the first try for Ireland and passed through two tacklers before passing to Jordi Murphy who scored the second. Ian Madigan added two conversions and scored two penalties.  Matias Moroni, Joaquin Tuculet, and Juan Imhoff (2) all scored tries for Argentina along with Nicholas Sanchez getting four conversions and scoring five penalties.

Jamie Heaslip said, “Argentina played a very expansive game. They stretched us. They took their chances. We got back to within three points, but then they took their opportunities to kick on. It’s very disappointing to lose in such a big game. We didn’t help ourselves at the start. We came back into it but we gave ourselves too much to do.”

Nicolas Sanchez was deservingly named man of the match, after scoring 23 points in the Ireland game and 74 in total during this World Cup.

Ireland came first in their group after beating France 24 – 9 the week before. Prior to this we beat Canada 50 – 7, Romania 44 – 10, and Italy 16 – 9.  However, even though we avoided playing New Zealand, in the quarter final we still did not do enough to land ourselves a place in the semi- final.

Joe Schmidt will be bitterly disappointed that he could not lead Ireland to its first quarter final in World Cup history. Ireland won the last two six nations and have enjoyed tremendous success in the last decade but still have yet to get the world cup monkey off their back.

Crucial injuries are fair excuses but a semi-final was the aim for this squad of players. Losing to this Argentina side is acceptable but the performance and score line was very disappointing.

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