Full Ireland player ratings as Argentina ruthlessly put to the sword
IRELAND 53-7 ARGENTINA
Ireland got off to a slow start to put Argentina to bed well before supper. Our Ireland player ratings feature one forward that was very, very close to a 10/10.
Even before a ball was kicked, Ireland had to reshuffle their XV. Jack Conan and, just before the game started, Iain Henderson were ruled out, with Munster pair Peter O'Mahony and Tadhg Beirne drafted in.
Those late switches - with three players changing positions - may explain Ireland's slow start, but Los Pumas took full advantage when Mateo Carreras cantered in after an offload-heavy attack. Joey Carbery clawed back three points with a penalty to settle the hosts.
Ireland had their homework done on the visitors and fancied their rolling maul to do damage. That it did, as Josh van der Flier and then Andrew Porter (after a couple more phases) got over. In return, Argentina missed two make-able penalties before Caelan Doris bumper car-ed his way over for a fine score.
Ireland show no mercy against Argentina.
Argentina knew they needed the first score of the second half but a brilliant couple of carries by Ryan Baird and the immense Tadhg Furlong gave them a simple penalty in front of the posts and Carbery chipped it over to make it 27-7.
That 20-point lead allowed Andy Farrell to put on Craig Casey and Harry Byrne for the final 30 minutes, and to give the young half backs a good crack at Argentina. Sure enough - with Pablo Matera in the sin-bin - Casey's quick tempo passing and Ireland's forward dominance saw van der Flier get over for his second try of the day.
Tomas Lavinini then got himself a deserved red card for a reckless high-shot clear-out on Cian Healy and had Peter O'Mahony lambast him before he jogged on. Healy, who survived the rough tackle to stay on, came close to Ireland's fifth try before, moments later, Dan Sheehan got over for one that counted.
Not to be denied, Healy bashed over from close-range after Tadhg Beirne had been held up just short. Beirne would not be denied, though, and he grabbed his five-pointer in the final minutes. Argentina had been ruthless put to the sword.
Here are our full Ireland player ratings after Andy Farrell's men win their eighth in a row, and in some style.
IRELAND PLAYER RATINGS
Hugo Keenan - 7
Made a lovely high claim, early on, but then botched a restart. Recovered well after that. Another solid outing.
Robert Baloucoune - 7
Made an excellent burst up his wing to have the visitors scrambling, before the Doris try. Showed up with some handy second-half carries.
Garry Ringrose - 8
Early knock-on, but pass to him was too high. Made an excellent carry-give-carry up the left-wing that gained his team 40 metres. Kept the backline pressing forward as Ireland kept up a rapid pace.
Robbie Henshaw - 7
His physicality sees him turn losing positions into gains, however minimal, and grew into the game (his first of the season). Had one loose kick that he was upset with. Lasted 65 minutes and can be pleased with his performance.
James Lowe - 8
Mostly required for clearing kicks and touch-finders as both sides sparred in the early stages. Linked up well with Ringrose before the attacking lineout led to Porter's try. Claimed a big Murray steepler to set Ireland up for the Doris try.
Joey Carbery - 8
First big moment - after landing his early conversion and penalty attempts - was to team up with van der Flier for a tackle that won a turnover. Put one beauty of a clearing kick deep into the Argentina half. Lovely line-break, near the end, and kicked well off the tee.
Conor Murray - 6
We were wondering if the box-kicks would be back. Early on, they were and they were inaccurate. Passing accuracy was not 100% there either, for a patchy first 20. Another kick almost led to Carreras scoring again but followed that up with a pearler that Lowe claimed. Made a nice carry for some vital metres before Doris' try.
Andrew Porter - 7
Has been a revelation in adapting to a role that he primarily did as an underage player, before the professional switch to tighthead. Powered over from close range for Ireland's second try. Penalised 40 metres out to give Argentina penalty that they missed. Made a crucial try-saving tackle on Carreras. Just needs to tighten up breakdown discipline, but otherwise excellent.
Ronán Kelleher - 8
Bullocking run up the left-wing and found Doris in support. Decisive throwing in the lineout, close-in. Conceded a second-half penalty but soon made up for it by snatching an overthrown lineout.
Tadhg Furlong - 9
Was everywhere in the opening 40 minutes - bruising bodies and making front-foot carries. Won his side a turnover after Doris caused trouble off a poor Argentina lineout. Made a lovely line-break at the end of the first half and started the second with a huge defensive tackle. Made a stunning burst into the Argentina 22 and got an offload away. His only blip was spilling forward, out on the right-wing, not far from the tryline.
What a tackle by Furlong 😵pic.twitter.com/mYUt0xAyU8
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) November 21, 2021
Tadhg Beirne - 7
Came in at the last moment. Excuses him (slightly) for getting stepped without laying a hand on Carreras for his try. Frustrated Argentina at the breakdown. Came close to a late try before Healy bashed over, but was not going to be denied and helped himself to a score in the corner.
James Ryan - 7
Made some real punchy carries and captained well as he turned down kicks in favour of attacking lineouts. Made a huge carry in the lead-up to the Doris try, but that was his last action of the half (and game).
Peter O'Mahony - 8
In the wars again (when is he not?!) but quelled the Argentineans at the breakdown and was assured at the lineout and restarts. Made a nice out-the-back pass to Baloucoune. Took over the captaincy and didn't let up as Ireland closed out the win. Still out there crunching lads at the death.
Josh van der Flier - 8
Made a couple of nice carries, early on, and was the try-scoring beneficiary of a rumbling maul. Teamed up with Carbery to win Ireland a turnover, by forcing a knock-on. Made a lovely carry after latching onto an overthrow lineout. Scored his second try from close-in as he powered over.
Caelan Doris - 9
Made a great carry into the Argentina 22 that won a penalty before Ireland's opening try. Hacked a poor Argentina lineout forward after it missed the target. Only he can tell you how he bounced off that bruising double tackle to score Ireland's try. Just as effective, in attack and defence, after the break.
There was no stopping Caelan Doris here 👊pic.twitter.com/mYUt0xAyU8"
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) November 21, 2021
Ryan Baird (for Ryan '36) - 8
Made a 40-metre break on one of his first carries. Big impact off the bench.
Dan Sheehan (for Kelleher '50) - 8
Crashed over for a try off a smart lineout move.
Craig Casey (for Murray '50) - 7
Sharp passing off the base for that van der Flier try.
Harry Byrne (for Keenan '50) - 6
Overcooked a cross-field kick into touch, not long after coming on.
Cian Healy (for Porter '57) - 7
Rode a brutal Lavini challenge but had a try ruled out as losing the ball just before the tryline.
Tom O'Toole (for Furlong '57) - 6
Got a decent taste of the action. Another tighthead with soft hands.
Keith Earls (for Henshaw '65) - 6
His first two carries were for decent gains.
*All pictures courtesy of Sportsfile and Getty