Ireland 17 Argentina 3
Three games into his reign it’s beginning to look like Kidney’s bubble, if not exactly burst, has deflated quite a bit. First among the prick-ers is none other than the sainted O’Gara who had a poor series and in this instance had one of his worst games for Ireland.
Ireland have not had a better chance of beating Argentina in a long time. Argentina only featured seven of the 22 that beat Ireland in the 2007 World Cup with perhaps their biggest loss, Hernandez, withdrawing minutes before kick off.
Ireland struggled to put away a feisty Argentina side and it is somewhat ironic that the supposed “Man of the Match” Ronan O’Gara was perhaps the main reason for Ireland’s poor play.
As in the World Cup O’Gara completely lost the plot and became involved in a disgraceful display of petulant behaviour and foul play. Once again he put himself before the team and became involved with his own personal vendetas rather than concentrate on his game. He should be cited for his use of the boot on Roncero and he should be dropped from the Ireland side so that Ireland are forced to develop a viable alternative at Out Half.
Every international side that watched this game will have had their tactics confirmed for their next match against Ireland. Get in the face of O’Gara and watch him self destruct. Anyone who puts O’Gara in the frame for The Lions should have their head examined after this display.
On the plus side, Wallace (Ireland’s player off the Autumn Internationals), Ferris, Best and O’Connell put themselves about enough to secure enough ball for Ireland to eventually win. However Kidney must be a worried man at the lack of invention shown by the side throughout this series.
The time has now come for Ireland to rebuild and with World Cup seeding now secured Kidney has no excuses for not mixing it up a bit for the Six Nations. Players like Sexton, O’Connor, Wallace, Fitzgerald, Earls, Ferris, Pollock, Court, Healy, Ross, Keatley, Ryan, Cave and Caldwell, to name a few are worthy of an extended look on the big stage. It may also give some of the present incumbents of the green jersey a much required kick up the backside. If kidney has any worries about starting inexperienced players he should reflecct on the composure of the two opposing Out Halfs. Apart from the place kicking it was difficult to tell which was the one starting their first game.