Ireland edge to victory over Argentina after tough test

Pablo Matera has won 55 caps since making his debut as a 19-year-old in 2013

The spark Ireland needed from the fresh faces earned Sexton shots at goal: One from long-range fell under the crossbar but the next one went over, and Ireland had the lead for good, though not with any confidence until McGrath scored.

"It was incredibly physical and it'll be no different next week, although we know we are going to have to step up a level again", O'Mahony said.

The home side's day, however, was marred by the news that flanker Sean O'Brien, forced off through injury, had broken his arm.

A late Sexton penalty — his fifth goalkick from seven — capped the scoring in a match with five lead changes.

"I think Joe (Schmidt) really feels as though Argentina are still a bogey team for us he's still scarred from that World Cup quarter-final", O'Driscoll adds.

Schmidt, who will announce before the end of the year whether he will stay on after the 2019 World Cup when his present contract comes to an end, doesn't believe the fact both New Zealand and Ireland were pushed hard on Saturday will impact on their match.

Best, who is returning to the Test arena after missing the 2-1 Test series win over Australia in the summer because of a hamstring injury, said Schmidt's legacy would also be seen in the players who played under him turning to coaching in the years to come.

Schmidt has been hailed for developing Ireland during his tenure and they are now the second-ranked side in the world after winning three Six Nations titles under him, even clinching a Grand Slam earlier this year.

"Obviously you want him in charge of the national team but he will do what is best for him".

"It was to take the pressure off him", Schmidt said.

"When you look at our coaching staff, there is that option (for internal promotion), massively", said Best.

"However, Conor has an incredible capacity to give us the tempo and the pass that makes a world class player", he added.

"Simon has been head coach at Scarlets and Faz at Saracens and then part of the England set-up".

"So there's plenty of options and there's plenty of good young coaches around".

Though Ledesma responded by throwing a line back in Larkham's direction - saying that Michael Cheika double-jobs by not only being Wallaby head coach but also effectively performing Larkham's by being the one devising the attack moves - the former Pumas' hooker saved the best to last as Argentina turned Australia over in their own backyard.

"We didn't really have much of a conversation, I learned about it really when he named the squad", he said.

"They didn't quite get home in one which perhaps they perhaps had enough opportunities to".

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