Joe Schmidt’s Ireland made it three for three in November, as they overcame Argentina by a scoreline of 28-19 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.
A spirited second-half fight back from the visitors made it look close on paper, but in reality the game was over as a contest by the time the Pumas started to make inroads.
Johnny Sexton kicked Ireland into a six point lead within fourteen minutes, before playing a key part in the wonderful move that lead to the opening try of the game from budding young Ulster star Jacob Stockdale on 21 minutes. Sexton subsequently kicked the conversion to extend the Irish lead to 13-0, and that’s how the scoreboard looked when the sides went in at the half.
The talented Stockdale added a second try within just a couple of minutes of the restart, showing tremendous pace and natural finishing instinct to go over in the corner after being played in once again by Sexton.
Knocking over a tough conversion, Sexton put Ireland into a twenty-point lead and pretty much out of sight.
A Joaquin Tuculet try and a Nicolas Sanchez conversion gave Argentine fans something to cheer about thirteen minutes later, but CJ Stander moved Ireland to 25 points when he crossed the whitewash on 63 minutes.
Argentina battled on though, and they added two tries in the final ten minutes with Ireland only managing three points from the boot of Sexton. Juan Manuel Leguizamon scored Argentina’s first on 71 minutes and Ramiro Moyano added another right at the death. Sanchez’s successful conversion of Moyano’s score was the final kick of the game.
After the final whistle, much of the talk on Twitter centred around one man – the 21-year-old Stockdale, who was rightly declared ‘Man of the Match’.
Well done young Stockdale #IREvARG
— Seán Sherlock TD (@seansherlocktd) November 25, 2017
— Jay (@jaymiedub) November 25, 2017
— Derrygasman (@derrygasman) November 25, 2017
Congratulations to @JacobStockdale on MOM what a Autumn internationals he's had ????
— christopher TOOLE (@1018ct) November 25, 2017
— Aaron Morgan (@aromorg) November 25, 2017
— Eoin Madigan (@eoinm89) November 25, 2017
— dave taylor (@therealtilly) November 25, 2017
I'm calling it now
He's on fire
— UlsterRugbySP ? (@UlsterRugbySP) November 25, 2017
— Kevin Kelly (@kevindublin) November 25, 2017
Dear @UlsterRugby ,
Can you’s please make sure that @JacobStockdale never leaves us?
Laura and all Ulster fans ❤️❤️
— Laura Rachael ?? (@LauraRGallagher) November 25, 2017
I’m pretty sure I’m the first person to have noticed but Jacob Stockdale is very athletic and good at rugby
— Ronan Murphy (@Ro_Murph) November 25, 2017
Could become one of Ireland’s greatest players
— Anthony Kearney (@AnthonyKearne15) November 25, 2017
Stockdale is a certain starter for the 6Nations after this and his display against SA.
— Mick O Brien (@mickobrien1) November 25, 2017
They should do a Vodafone ad of Jacob Stockdale. When he was born he weighed in at 15 stone and was a mere 5'10" in height #IREvARG
— Three Red Kings (@threeredkings) November 25, 2017
Looks like it can reach some height
In the Rugby World.✔??✔
— Brian Bergin (@BrianBergin2) November 25, 2017
Think we're reaching the point where all Irish wingers not named Jacob Stockdale are now fighting over one position.
— Andy McGeady (@andymcgeady) November 25, 2017
— Craig Murray (@CraigMurray1820) November 25, 2017
— Darragh Robinson (@Darrob373) November 25, 2017
A deserved man of the match @JacobStockdale the game has become a bit frantic and jittery with an Argentinian try at the end. Ireland should have closed that game better. A win at the end of the day tho. #IREvARGِ
— Cian Higgins (@CianHiggins8) November 25, 2017
Jacob stockdale is an animal #IREvARGِ
— Rachel Howard ? (@Rachie_h0ward_) November 25, 2017
Jacob Stockdale is unbelievable #IREvARG
— Michael (@Mour1nhodd) November 25, 2017
The number of players blooded by Schmidt this series has been a massive positive. Never before have Ireland possessed such depth. #IREvARG
— Alan Drumm (@alanjdrumm) November 25, 2017