Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Schmidt pleased to see Ireland emerge from 'arduous' test

Pablo Matera has won 55 caps since making his debut as a 19-year-old in 2013 Pablo Matera has won 55 caps since making his debut as a 19-year-old in 2013
Sidney Guerrero | 11 November, 2018, 01:49

Ireland encountered stiff resistance from a gritty Argentina side as they were made to work for a 28-17 victory in a hard-fought Test at Aviva Stadium on Saturday. "We had to dig really deep", man-of-the-match James Ryan afterwards.

During a game in which the lead changed hands on eight occasions at the Aviva Stadium, Ireland scored tries through Kieran Marmion, Bundee Aki and Luke McGrath but it was 13 points from the boot of Jonny Sexton that made the rela difference.

A second Nicolas Sanchez penalty put Argentina back in front, then he and his centers tore apart the Irish to give unmarked wing Bautista Delguy an easy fifth try in nine tests.

Sean O'Brien returned to the Ireland team for the first time since last November as coach Joe Schmidt on Thursday retained only two players from the side who beat Italy for Saturday's test against Argentina in Dublin.

"I don't think Joe allows it in that environment", O'Driscoll said, of the players overlooking Saturday's game.

"If their back three get the ball the more likely they (the Argentinians) are going to break teams open, because they're tackle breakers, they're line breakers and they link up in behind the line really effectively once they break the line", said Schmidt.

Tottenham's Harry Kane would be revered if he was Italian - Mauricio Pochettino
Pochettino has masterminded it by using more players than any other side and he finally feels happy with his back-up players.

"We knew Argentina would be physical, they would make it very hard for us, they would be good at the breakdown and good at the setpiece". They're the sort of side who need to test us. Having experimented somewhat in Chicago against the Italians, Schmidt has named a much more experienced line-up this time around, with Rory Best returning to captain the side and Sean O'Brien making his first Irish appearance in a year.

"A lot of things we can do better out there".

"We want to go out and win and keep this home record we have".

"It will be really tough next week, we are going to have to go and make it happen, it's not just going to come to us".

"With the national team he has already compiled some good success and certainly he has the confidence of the players".

The 31-year-old - one of the stand-out players of the British & Irish Lions' 1-1 Test series draw with world champions New Zealand last year - went off with his face creased in agony and then sat on the sidelines for the second period in what was his first Test in nearly a year.

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