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Ireland 28-17 Argentina: Home side warm-up for All Blacks clash with win

Bundee Aki scores in Ireland's home win over Argentina
Image: Bundee Aki scores in Ireland's home win over Argentina

Ireland laboured to a patchy 28-17 victory over Argentina in Dublin, losing Sean O'Brien and Kieran Marmion to serious-looking injuries.

Marmion, Bundee Aki and Luke McGrath scored Ireland's tries as the Six Nations champions held off the stubborn Pumas.

Wing Bautista Delguy crossed for Argentina, who edged ahead in the second half through Nicolas Sanchez's third penalty, before Ireland battled back as Johnny Sexton finished with 13 points.

Joe Schmidt's men lost flanker O'Brien to an arm injury and scrum-half Marmion to a leg concern, though - and that after Robbie Henshaw had pulled up in the warm-up with a minor hamstring complaint.

Ireland could now be without British and Irish Lions Test star O'Brien and Marmion for next weekend's eagerly-anticipated Dublin clash with back-to-back world champions New Zealand.

Sanchez's shot at goal put Argentina in the early lead, before the hosts punted three penalties - two eminently kickable - to the corner.

Just when Ireland looked to be leaving their opponents' 22 empty-handed, up popped Marmion to nip home after a potent scrum.

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Ireland host the All Blacks next after seeing off Argentina
Image: Ireland host the All Blacks next after seeing off Argentina

Sexton missed the conversion, before Sanchez slotted a second penalty after sloppy Irish work in losing the restart.

Matias Orlando and Jeronimo de la Fuente then carved open Ireland's midfield for a fine Pumas score, with Delguy diving in gleefully at the corner.

Aki scythed through traffic to storm home, as Ireland continued to chase control.

Sexton traded penalties with Sanchez for Ireland to carry an edgy 15-14 lead into the break.

Sanchez booted his third penalty to push the Pumas into a 17-15 advantage to start the second half.

Sexton's 50-metre shot at goal then fell just shy, but the Leinster fly-half made no mistake with his next effort.

Ireland edged back in front 18-17 approaching the hour, but had to face the final quarter without Marmion.

His replacement Luke McGrath nipped in for Ireland's third try, sealing the win and settling frayed nerves.

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