A flawless display by Jonathan Sexton eased Ireland to an end-of-year 29-9 win over an off-colour Argentina at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Sunday in their final autumn test.
The Ireland fly-half got the better of his former Leinster mentor, Argentina’s Felipe Contepomi, kicking 17 points as the hosts got the better of the side that has caused them enormous problems in the past including two demoralising defeats in the 1999 and 2007 World Cups.
The hosts also scored the only two tries of the game through Stephen Ferris and Gordon D’Arcy.
Ireland led 19-3 at half time, following an impressive all-round show as Declan Kidney’s side emerged from a slow start to play with style and power.
Unfortunately the second half failed to give the 30,476 numb-fingered support little to cheer, but following a run of just one win in the last eight games, the Irish won’t argue.
Questions will surround Argentina’s progress too, as their European tour comes to a disappointing end – particularly in the manner with which they lost in Dublin.
Inspired by the boot of Morgan Parra, France took revenge for a 41-13 Buenos Aires summer thrashing by edging out Argentina 15-9 in Saturday’s one-off autumn Test at the Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier. Argentina wenr’t good enough to even win some Wales Rugby Tickets!
France had been steamrollered in South America last June having travelled with high hopes on the back their first Six Nations Grand Slam since 2004, while the Pumas also beat them twice on French soil at the last World Cup – including the match for third place.
Coach Marc Lievremont had demanded the record be put straight and a performance more solid than last weekend’s shoddy 34-12 win over Fiji in Nantes.
In rainy conditions in the deep south of France, Lievremont got the result – if not entirely the performance, he craved as four Parra penalties and a Damien Traille drop goal secured the win.
Felipe Contepomi sent over a trio of penalties for the visitors who nonetheless in the slithery conditions never looked like turning in the festival of rugby they had delivered the last time they faced their rivals.
Parra gave the hosts a 10th-minute lead only for Contepomi to belt over a 40-metre riposte six minutes later following a knock-on by Aurelien Rougerie.