Ireland’s Rugby World Cup 2015 dreams were ended by Argentina this afternoon as the Pumas inflicted more misery on the home nations with an awesome 43-20 victory at the Millennium Stadium.
Joe Schmidt’s injury-hit side fought back admirably after going down 17-0 early on, but two late tries, including this effort from Juan Imhoff, cued wild celebrations from the South Americans.
Ireland’s exit is further disappointment for British hopes after England were knocked out in the group stage and Wales fell just short in their quarter-final against South Africa at Twickenham yesterday.
But they were roundly beaten in Cardiff, where Argentina led from almost the first whistle as Nicolas Sanchez-converted tries from Matias Moroni and Imhoff inside 10 minutes secured them early control.
The Irish were shellshocked, but rallied to reduce the deficit to 20-10 at the break as Luke Fitzgerald finished off a great move and stand-in fly-half Ian Madigan added seven points with the boot.
They took their momentum into the second half as Jordi Murphy crossed on 44 minutes. Madigan and Sanchez exchanged penalties to leave the game well poised at 23-20 before Argentina came again.
Sanchez converted tries from Joacquin Tuculet and Imhoff, and kicked two additional penalties to make the winning margin emphatic and continue the dominance of the Southern Hemisphere nations.
The Argentines will face the winner of Australia and Scotland in the last four. Ireland have now been eliminated at the quarter-final stage in seven of their eight Rugby World Cup appearances.
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