Argentina defeated Ireland today at Parc des Princes to top the Pool of Death.
The Pumas display was based on greater tactical nous and superior skill levels. They forced Ireland to attack from deep. Their tackling was bone shuddering. In the first 15 minutes Ireland launched a furious onslaught. The Argentineans withstood the onslaught and went on to fashion a comprehensive victory. They moved forward in waves to attack the Irish line. The most exciting moment in the game was the build-up to Horacio Agulla's try. This was space age rugby. This scoring movement involved skill, combined play, power and tactical awareness. In reality the Pumas were far superior to Ireland. This performance is all the more amazing considering that the Pumas do not participate in the Six-Nations or the Tri-Nations. Hopefully they will be invited to join the Tri -nations or Six Nations competitions.
Today there were no weak links in the in the Argentinean team. Juan Martín Hernández was player of the match. It is not unreasonable to argue that he is the best number 10 in the world.
For a detailed account of the match read the Irish Times
It is time for the IRFU to reassess the approach to International Rugby in Ireland.
- Irish teams must participate in World Sevens Competitions. This will improve ball skills.
- Autumn Internationals must be used to blood new talent. To hell with the results of such games. Irelands successes against weakened South African and Australian teams last Autumn counted for nothing in the World Cup.
- The next four years must be used to build a panel of 40 players. Players on the first team must feel that there is competition for places.
- Coaching expertise from the Southern Hemisphere is a sine qua non.
- It is possible that there may be some Rugby League players of Irish extraction playing in the UK and Australia who might possibly make good Union players if recruited well in advance of the next World Cup.