Argentina v Ireland in Dublin
Venue: Aviva Stadium
Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)
There has been more upsets than I can ever recall in these November tests. South Africa defeating England, Scotland defeating South Africa, Fiji's 16-16 draw with Wales, Australia's amazing 59-16 thrashing of France, not to mention all the upsets in the European Nations Cup. So if there is to be another upset, will it happen at Aviva Stadium.
Well frankly no. Nobody will be surprised if either Ireland or Ireland win. Neither has really fired this November and probably neither actually deserves to win on Sunday.
Ireland has had a forgettable November window. They have missed three key players all November in Fitzgerald, Kearney and Paul O'Connell. They just haven't fired, except perhaps in the game against New Zealand. So there is promise but the World Cup is less than 9 months away and you really couldn't, on their latest form, consider Ireland a serious contender.
Argentina keeps on selecting an ageing front row and a number of other players and getting a bit long in the tooth. Will these players (hooker Ledesma will be 38 if he gets to the World Cup) be over the hill by that time? Where is the new blood for Argentina?
Last Five Encounters
22.11.2008 Ireland 17-3 in Dublin
30.09.2007 Argentina 30-15 in Paris (World Cup, Pool D)
02.06.2007 Argentina 16-0 in Buenos Aires
26.05.2007 Argentina 22-20 in Santa Fe
27.11.2004 Ireland 21-19 in Dublin
Argentina has never won against Ireland in Dublin.
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Argentina 7th, Ireland 8th
IRB Ranking Points
Ireland 80.90, Argentina 79.87
Prediction: A draw
15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Brian O'Driscoll, Capt. 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Peter Stringer , 8 James Heaslip, 7 David Wallace, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Michael O'Driscoll, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Anthony Buckley, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
16 Damien Varley, 17 Thomas Court, 18 Devin Toner, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Eoin Reddan , 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Keith Earls.
Head Coach: Declan Kidney
15 Martin Rodriguez, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Marcelo Bosch, 11 Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino, 10 Felipe Contepomi, Capt. 9 Nicolas Vergallo, 8 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Julio Farias Cabello, 6 Genaro Fessia, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Mariano Galarza, 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Santiago Guzman, 20 Alvaro Galindo, 21 Alfredo Lalanne, 22 Lucas Borges.
Head Coach: Santiago Phelan