Super Stockdale shows class as Ireland seal clean sweep
Ireland completed their Guinness series with a clean sweep at a full Aviva Stadium yesterday thanks to an excellent opening half-hour that left Argentina, at the end of their season, with too much to do.
The home side were 20-0 ahead after 42 minutes but the Pumas, driven by their desire to show respect to the 44 submariners on the missing Argentine naval vessel, the ARA San Juan, came back very strong, eventually losing 28-19.
"We get energy and passion from the jersey," their captain Agustin Creevy said afterwards. "It's been a long, tiring season but it means a lot to us to play for Argentina."
For Jacob Stockdale it was another step on a career that is speeding forward. He scored two tries in a man of the match performance in what was his fourth cap.
"It was pretty special," Stockdale said. "Joe challenged me during the week to get stuck in from the start and I did that. I'm pretty happy.
"It's been a phenomenal experience, you're surrounded by quality players here and that makes it enjoyable. Three wins over quality nations is great. Argentina were always going to have time in the game, we're disappointed we didn't perform for 80 minutes. We'll learn from it."
Coach Joe Schmidt echoed the sentiment that the Pumas' driving finish had taken the gloss off a game that had started so well.
"You're always disappointed when they score the last two tries in the fixture," he said. "The two tries that they got late in the game - both were frustrating, but I thought the way we had got our way into the game had been very satisfying.
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"There were plenty of good elements up to that finish. I think we had to make more than 160 tackles - it was very attritional. It's a mixed bag - they generally tend to be - especially when you have a comfortable nine-point margin when they've scored their two tries at the end."
Schmidt declared himself satisfied with the way the series unfolded and the players who have emerged from it, especially Stockdale.
"He's a kid who's learning fast, and he's willing to learn," he said. "He finished that second try really well and getting around someone like Joaquin Tuculet… showed how well he did."
It remains to be seen what issues arise from the injuries sustained by Chris Farrell - who was having a huge game - and James Ryan. Farrell went off with a knee injury and Ryan has a bruised shoulder.
Sunday Indo Sport