Five things we learned from Ireland's defeat to Argentina

Five things we learned from Ireland's defeat to Argentina

Ireland’s wait for a World Cup semi-final goes on as Argentina inflicted a 43-20 defeat in Cardiff today.

Here's five things we learned from the quarter-final tie.

Pumas have claws

Five things we learned from Ireland's defeat to Argentina

Argentina have always been known for their forward grunt, priding themselves on their reputation as feared scrummagers.

But there are few more exciting back lines in world rugby right now with Nicolas Sanchez pulling the strings at outside-half.

Add plenty of midfield creativity and pace to burn out wide and it is an intoxicating attacking mix.

Ireland were missing leaders

The absence of Paul O’Connell, Sean O’Brien and Peter O’Mahony was simply too much to bear. Apart from their forward power and immeasurable experience, Ireland sorely missed the trio’s leadership skills.

Jamie Heaslip had to carry the burden of leadership in their absence, but it was too great a task against inspired opponents.

Sexton is key for Ireland

Five things we learned from Ireland's defeat to Argentina

If the absence of key forwards was not bad enough for Ireland, the loss of outside-half Jonathan Sexton to a groin injury after he had originally been named in the team was particularly cruel.

Sexton’s replacement Ian Madigan just makes too many mistakes to be effective and Ireland looked rudderless without their shrewd game-manager.

Southern supremacy is set to continue

Five things we learned from Ireland's defeat to Argentina

The 2015 World Cup has thrown up a well-worn story – one of southern hemisphere supremacy and northern hemisphere naval gazing.

Argentina have been the biggest winners from turning the Tri-Nations into the Rugby Championship as it has consistently exposed them to the demands of top-level rugby, and the southern hemisphere super-powers are still way out in front.

Ireland fans raise the roof

Five things we learned from Ireland's defeat to Argentina

Playing World Cup games in Cardiff has been criticised in some quarters with England being the 2015 tournament hosts.

But the Millennium Stadium’s unique atmosphere with its closed roof has brought plenty to the competition.

Even in defeat, Ireland fans raised the decibel levels against Argentina to unprecedented heights.

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