Ireland thrash Argentina to secure top-eight seeding for World Cup draw
Last Updated: November 24, 2012 5:22pm
Jonathan Sexton: Scored two tries and kicked nine further points
Ireland guaranteed a place among the second seeds for the 2015 World Cup draw after cruising to an impressive 46-24 victory over Argentina at Aviva Stadium.
The hosts ran in a total of seven tries, with Jonathan Sexton and Tommy Bowe each grabbing a brace and Craig Gilroy, Richardt Strauss and Simon Zebo also crossing.
Coach Declan Kidney came into the contest under pressure after a run of five Test defeats but a dominant display against a Pumas side which beat Wales two weeks ago will be a big help to the under-fire boss.
Ireland took the lead in the 11th minute as Test debutant Gilroy, who was a threat all afternoon, came racing off his wing to take an inside pass from Sexton before beating three defenders to score.
Five minutes later centre Gordon D'Arcy fed Sexton and the Leinster fly-half showed good strength as he broke two tackles to crash over the line.
Argentina remained in touch through two Nicolas Sanchez penalties but the home side took a firm grip on the contest when Strauss grounded in the corner following a line-out drive.
The fourth try came when Bowe caught a high kick to start a move which ended when Sexton threw a miss pass out to full-back Zebo, who dived over in the left corner.
Sachez kicked two more penalties and Sexton sent one of his own through the posts to make the score 27-12, but Bowe ended any hopes of a comeback when he collected a Sexton kick to score.
Sexton added his second try soon after and Bowe completed his own double in the last 10 minutes as he pounced on another chip kick, this time from Keith Earls.
Tries from Tomas Leonardi and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe in the dying minutes salvaged some pride for Argentina, who had prop Maximiliano Bustos sin-binned for throwing the ball into the face of Cian Healy.