Argentina turf Ireland out of cup
PARIS, 30 September - Argentina have sent Ireland out of the world cup with a 30-15 defeat at Parc des Princes on Sunday.
Ireland, who needed victory with a four-try bonus point and a margin of at least eight points to qualify for the quarter-finals, were on the attack from the outset.
But the Argentines had other plans as they were looking to wrap up top place in Pool D and avoid having to face the tournament-favourite All Blacks in Cardiff on Saturday.
The South Americans shut down Ireland with tenacious defence and a structured game that will serve them well in the later stages.
No matter what Ireland threw at Argentina, the boys from the Emerald Isle just could not budge the Argentine defence.
"We knew Ireland was going to be very physical, we just wanted to play a full game," Argentina captain and scrum half Agustin Pichot said.
Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan said he was "hugely disappointed" by the loss.
"I thought we had a chance today if we got things going. We did at time get things going in stages.
"It was a tough day."
Argentina coach Marcelo Loffreda was understandably thrilled with his side's performance and was looking forward to the quarter-final match against Scotland at the Stade de France in Paris next Sunday.
"We have to be very quiet and still be very humble and to work as hard as we did to get here," Loffreda said.
"Scotland are a great team, they are in the top eight. But we arrive being favourite against them as well," he said.
Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll was philosophical after the match, acknowledging that Argentina always made it tough to score tries.
"It is difficult defending a team who refuses to play in their own half," O'Driscoll said.
"For a large part of the match they are in your 22, kicking the ball in the air. They played a good kicking game."
Points to ponder
While the Pumas are looking forward to their quarter-final, Ireland will now head home trying to figure out where it all went wrong for them at this tournament.
Despite lacklustre performances, O'Sullivan said he still had faith in his team and was adamant that his future as coach was secure.
"I've never walked away from a challenge and I don't intend to start now," he said.
"There are a lot of good players in this side. We created a lot of expectation in coming here, both from ourselves and from our supporters. We haven't lived up to it," he said.