Ireland v Argentina Four encounters to remember

There have been plenty of memorable matches against Los Pumas down the years

Gerry Thornley and Gavin Cummiskey look ahead to Ireland's quarter-final clash with Argentina, as coach Joe Schmidt gambles on the fitness of Johnny Sexton and Keith Earls. Video: Daniel O'Connor

 

1999 Rugby World Cup Argentina 28 Ireland 24 – October 20th, Stade Félix Bollaert, Lens

Ireland make a holy show of themselves. Really it had been coming and did a lot to set a fire beneath the IRFU blazers who did start the process of relinquishing control, via their amateur ways, so the professional era could begin in earnest. Gonzalo Quesada kicked all the Puma points besides Diego Albanese’s try. It ended with an old Warren Gatland tactic – the 13-man lineout (don’t be surprised to see a desperate Wales try in against the Springboks) but it came to nothing and a World Cup quarter-final against France belonged to Argentina.

2003 Rugby World Cup

Ireland 16 Argentina 15 – October 26th, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Alan Quinlan’s try send Ireland on the way to qualifying from the Pool of death while he was forced home having dislocated his shoulder in the act of cross the line. Quinlan’s moment was created by Keith Wood, gathering off a loose lineout, side-stepping, dummying and then offloading to his Munster teammate. Mauricio Reggiardo and Roberto Grau also went on enforced, extended leave for gouging. It was a huge result for Eddie O’Sullivan and Irish rugby as it showed incremental improvement.

2004 Autumn Internationals Ireland 21 Argentina 19 – November 27th, Lansdowne Road

The good old days. “Eye gouge! Eye gouge! This is getting fucking dirty,” the young Irish captain pleaded with English referee Tony Spreadbury. Malcolm O’Kelly, Shane Byrne, Anthony Foley, Ronan O’Gara, Brian O’Driscoll and Simon Easterby were all the alleged victims of Argentinean fingers. The citing commissioner drew a blank. Afterwards two very indignant Argentina halfbacks, Agustin Pichot and Felipe Contepomi, came before the media in the old Havelock Square pavilion. “Rugby should be played with ethics,” said Pichot. “Asking for yellow and red cards and crying (in the second half), We didn’t get respect from the Irish players. If I go on the field and start calling for players to be sent off, that’s not rugby.” O’Driscoll responded: “Just to set the record straight. Not once did I say we want a yellow card. I was just indicating to Tony that they were persistently infringing and that they weren’t allowing us to have any fast ball.”

2007 Rugby World Cup Argentina 30 Ireland 15 – September 30th, Parc des Princes, Paris The end of the nightmare. Juan Hernandez was beautiful in this World Cup – until the Springboks roughed him up in the semis. He struck three drop goals and produced sumptuous fielding to create the Horatio Agulla try. O’Driscoll forced his way over for an earlier try – his reaction seemed to indicate it would lift the pack but they had looked drained for a month by now. This was a disaster far worse than Lens because there was no obvious reason for it.

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