Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Sport | By

O'Brien returns in Ireland side to face Pumas

O'Brien returns in Ireland side to face Pumas

Their losses could prove a spanner in the works for head coach Joe Schmidt's plans with world champions New Zealand due next Saturday in a clash of the top two-ranked teams in the world.

But sometimes sport isn't fair, plagued with injuries Ireland looked like a shell of the team that won the Six Nations a few months prior as Argentina ripped them apart.

"His fitness should be back, he has got a couple of games under his belt and yeah I am hoping he is a vital player again for Ireland", he said.

"I think they are trying to live what they have experienced".

"There is no reason why they should not be a little bit bullish", he added. I just want them to run harder so they can keep their distance.

Schmidt, who is seen by some as a future coach of the All Blacks after his success with Ireland, made it clear that anyone who doesn't meet his high standards on Saturday will have the next weekend off. They're the sort of side who need to test us.

"I think next week is a massive game in terms of a barometer of where they are going into next year but it's be all and end all". Sexton converting to put them more than a converted try ahead.

"This team have the capability of doing that of having a day at one side and then parking that but ultimately for most of this week, I'd imagine they've only been talking about Argentina, maybe they've given an hour to the All-Blacks but I'd imagine not I'd say that's done, parked and they'll pick that up again on Monday".

"So we're going to have to really be on our mettle otherwise guys like Agustin Creevy and Pablo Matera will get on that ball very quickly". Fullback Emiliano Boffelli and wings Bautista Delguy and Ramiro Moyano have the ability to cut defences to ribbons - Boffelli and Delguy scoring three tries apiece in the Rugby Championship.

Ireland welcomed back captain Rory Best and Sean O'Brien also came in for his first Test since November 2017, but the fragile Leinster man's match ended with an arm injury sustained in innocuous circumstances during an even first half. "Nicolas Sanchez (the fly-half) is a weapon there as well".

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.

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