Sexton injury mars Ireland win
June 7, 2014
Second-half tries from Jonny Sexton and Andrew Trimble helped Ireland to a first Test victory in Argentina on Saturday night. Chris Henry also crossed in the opening period for Ireland, but a leg injury to Sexton 16 minutes from time will concern coach Joe Schmidt ahead of next weekend's second Test at Tucuman.
That aside, though, it was a night to enjoy for the Irish. After a lively opening 10 minutes at Resistencia, the tourists made the first impact on the scoreboard when Gabriel Ascarate was penalised for breaking the offside line, and Sexton made no mistake from the left-hand side.
From the restart Ireland were guilty of handing easy field position to their hosts when Andrew Trimble knocked on, but Greg Feek would have been thrilled to see his scrum demolish the Argentinians on their ball and the resultant penalty released the pressure.
Ireland continued to have the upper hand at the scrum for the remainder of the first half, while a solid lineout marshalled expertly by Paul O'Connell in this 100th Test match also gave the Six Nations champions a great attacking platform.
Eight minutes after he gave his side the lead, Sexton doubled that advantage to 6-0 when the Ulster duo of Darren Cave and Like Marshall linked up well for a line-break in midfield and the scrambling Argentinian defence was forced into the concession of a penalty.
But Ireland did not have it all their own way in the first half, and after Santiagio Cordero went close to crossing in the right corner, Nicolas Sanchez got them on the board with a well-struck penalty after 27 minutes to leave it 6-3.
The Argentinian challenge was dented when No.8 Benjamin Macone was sin-binned in the 29th minute when he took Trimble out in the air, but despite their numerical inferiority, the home side stunned Ireland when Sanchez's smart break sent Manuel Montero clear to score in the corner.
Sanchez converted to give Argentina a 10-6 lead, but Ireland hit back immediately when O'Connell got the maul rolling five metres from the line and Henry dotted down. Sexton missed the tricky conversion from the left, but Ireland would have been happy to escape the half by leading 11-10.
However, they charged into the second half with Schmidt's words echoing their ears, and three minutes after the restart Sexton rounded off a super team move to bag his side's second try. The move stemmed from a fine lineout steal from debutant Robbie Diack, and after a powerful break from Jordi Murphy, Sexton linked up splendidly with Marshall to score an unconverted try on the right.
And just short of the hour mark, Ireland put the result beyond any doubt when Trimble intercepted Sanchez's looping pass on halfway and had the easiest of tasks to canter home unopposed for a third Irish try.
Sexton slotted the conversion but he soon limped off with a leg injury, while his replacement Ian Madigan slotted two late penalties to gloss the victory as Tomas De La Vega crossed for a late Argentinian consolation.
Tomas de la Vega scores a late consolation for Argentina © Twitter
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Aljaz Bedene will soon join Andy Murray as Great Britain's second ATP top 100 player after being granted a UK passport - but has a fight on his hands if he hopes to play Davis Cup for his adopted country
Fernando Alonso said the McLaren felt much better than he expected during his first run in the MP4-30 since pre-season testing
Aaron Baddeley's tee shot on the par-4 17th Thursday at the Texas Open would have been the second hole-in-one on a par 4 in PGA Tour history had he only taken a mulligan
Nico Rosberg thinks the perfect strategy in Malaysia will involve getting as much out of one stint on the option tyre as possible during Sunday's race
The Hurricanes have produced a blistering second-half performance to record a commanding 36-12 victory over Melbourne Rebels in Wellington
Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports
Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks
Will Mercedes dominate again? Can anybody catch up with the help of a rainstorm? And will the Red Bull/Renault relationship tear itself apart? All those questions and more will be answered at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix
Maurice Hamilton pieces together what we know from the Fernando Alonso crash and explains why the latest answers raise more questions
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Tiger Woods is confident of recovering from a poor run of form to qualify for the US Ryder Cup team in 2016, according to captain Davis Love III
Jonas Gutierrez has told Canal+ he will never forgive Newcastle for the way the club treated him during his battle with cancer, but wants to stay at St James' Park beyond this summer
Lionel Messi earned more than €1 million (£740,000) a week last year to make him the world's highest-paid player and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was the best-paid coach, according to a new survey
Andy Murray has expressed fears that his game will regress without full-time coaching in a candid exchange with a fellow Twitter user as he prepares to add former world No.4 Jonas Bjorkman to his coaching team
Luis Suarez has laughed off the idea that the Barcelona players have set out to help Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo to La Liga's top scorer award
Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
Who was the first Briton to win the British Grand Prix?
Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?
How many F1 drivers have had one win, but done it at their home Grand Prix?