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Saturday, 23 November, 2002, 16:15 GMT
Clockwatch: Ireland 16-7 Argentina
All the action from Lansdowne Road as Ireland beat the Pumas 16-7.

Second half:

80 mins (+2): A last-ditch effort by Argentina fails to advance them far and Ireland take the victory. It has not been a vintage display, but it gives the Irish a boost before the two sides resume their rivalry at the World Cup.

79 mins: Still Ireland hold firm and a mistake by Ignacio Corleto hands them back the ball.

75 mins: Time is running out for the Pumas. Their challenge has wilted a bit during a second half which the Irish have dominated.

71 mins: The Irish forwards push for the try line but are held up short. The time spent deep in Argentine territory is not wasted, however. It makes a home win more likely and the enthusiastic Lansdowne Road fans appreciate this.

69 mins: A surging run by Irish skipper Brian O'Driscoll makes good ground and the Argentine visitors are beginning to look tired.

66 mins: A bad mistake by Felipe Contempomi hands the Irish a chance to stretch their lead. O'Gara makes no mistake. Ireland 16-7 Argentina

64 mins: Girvan Dempsey has had another big game for the hosts and his deep catch and clearance helps Ireland stand firm.

60 mins: Invention from the Pumas piles on the pressure deep in Ireland's half. But O'Gara lifts it with a great kick.

56 mins: Stringer is becoming a key player and the Irish bed down in the Argentine half after his angled kick.

52 mins: Peter Stringer tries a well-placed chip that gains his team position in the Pumas' 22. A subsequent penalty gives O'Gara a penalty chance, which he takes. Ireland 13-7 Argentina

50 mins: The wet conditions are not helping the flow of a game that is being dominated by dogged defence and long kicks.

47 mins: A clever chip by Justin Bishop puts the Irish inside the opposition 22 with the throw. They keep possession and lay siege to the Argentine line, which stands firm again.

44 mins: After a kicking exchange, Ireland find themselves penned back in their half. Argentina are being crafty with their possession and scrum-half Omar Hasan is influencing play.

1726 GMT: Ronan O'Gara gets the second half under way.

First half:

40 mins (+1): The visiting Pumas gain good ground down their right flank only to be penalised as the half-time whistle blows.

38 mins: After an erratic passage of play, Ireland drive forward before hitting the Argentine wall of defence. It has been the pattern of a rugged first half of few chances and heavy tackles.

33 mins: Ireland drive forward and another up-and-under from O'Gara puts the pressure on. The Pumas gather before conceding a penalty that O'Gara converts. Ireland 10-7 Argentina

30 mins: Argentina are making it very difficult for Ireland when the home side have the ball. The consolation for Ireland is that they will have the benefit of a strong following wind after the break.

27 mins: Gary Longwell has to leave the field following an awkward fall.

23 mins: Ireland's score came against the run of play and Argentina set the record straight immediately when Rolando Martin surprises the home defence from a throw-in to touch down. Contempomi converts. Ireland 7-7 Argentina

20 mins: From an O'Driscoll high ball, Girvan Dempsey pounces top score a try out of nowhere. O'Gara converts. Ireland 7-0 Argentina.

19 mins: As the rain starts to drive down, Argentina show characteristic grit to drive back Ireland. The breeze favours the visitors in the first half.

15 mins: Ireland win a key line-out close to their own line to keep the match without a score.

12 mins: The pitch is very muddy in parts and the continuing drizzle will not help matters in a scrappy but very competitive game.

8 mins: Good work from the Irish pack wins them put-in at the scrum and they drive towards the Argentine line before being held up short.

6 mins: Victor Costello wins good line-out ball for Ireland and the end result is a penalty on the left flank. O'Gara sends the ball deep into the Argentine 22.

3 mins: Ireland give up a careless penalty and surrender some ground, but Ronan O'Gara launches a probing kick to get back on terms.

1632GMT: The game gets under way to great ovation from a big Lansdowne Road crowd.


Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan restores the starting line-up from the spectacular 18-9 victory over Australia, save for the enforced absence of injured winger Denis Hickie.

He is replaced by Justin Bishop.

Argentina recall Mauricio Reggiardo to the front row in place of veteran Roberto Grau.

Otherwise, coach Marcelo Loffreda keeps faith with the side that thrashed Italy in Rome.

Ireland: Girvan Dempsey; Shane Horgan, Brian O'Driscoll (capt), Kevin Maggs, Justin Bishop; Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer; Anthony Foley, Keith Gleeson, Victor Costello, Malcolm O'Kelly, Gary Longwell, John Hayes; Shane Byrne, Reggie Corrigan.
Replacements: Frank Sheahan, Marcus Horan, Leo Cullen, Alan Quinlan, Guy Easterby, David Humphreys, Geordan Murphy.

Argentina: Ignacio Corleto; Ganzalo Camardon, Jose Orengo, Lisandro Arbizu (capt), Diego Albanese; Felipe Contempomi, Augustin Pichot; Gonzalo Longo, Rolando Martin, Santiago Phelan, Rimas Alvarez, Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, Omar Hasan, Mario Ledsema, Mauricio Reggiardo.
Replacements: JJ Villaz, M Scelzo, P Sporleder, M Durand, N Fernandez Miranda, J Fernandez Miranda, J Nunez Piossek

Referee: Chris White (England)

 NOV 23-24 TESTS
 WALES 17-43 NZ

Ireland v Argentina

Ireland v Fiji

Ireland v Australia

Brian O'Driscoll


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