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Ireland beats Argentina 29-17 for first test win in Pumas land

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RESISTENCIA, Argentina - Six Nations champion Ireland beat Argentina 29-17 for the first time in Pumas country on Saturday.

Winning for the first time in Argentina in four attempts since 2000, Ireland scored three tries to two against an Argentine side picked mainly from local clubs with only a sprinkle of European-based professionals.

Yet, Argentina proved tough to put away, finding holes in the Irish backline and staying in the entertaining match on the scoreboard, at least, until Andrew Trimble's interception try bumped the visitors to a safe 23-10 lead with a quarter to go.

Argentina scored the first try while No. 8 Benjamin Macome was in the sin-bin. Flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez stepped Luke Marshall and broke from inside his own half, and fed left wing Manuel Montero, who swerved round Trimble and Jonathan Sexton before diving in the left corner to finish a great try.

Sanchez converted for 10-6, but the lead lasted only three minutes, as Ireland replied with a rolling maul to carry flanker Chris Henry over and take an 11-10 lead into halftime.

Soon after the restart, Ireland debutant flanker Robbie Diack stole a Pumas lineout throw-in, and Sexton doubled round his centres to scoot in. Trimble's intercept of Sanchez made the scoreline safe for Ireland.

Ian Madigan, who replaced a limping Sexton, kicked a couple of penalties as Ireland emptied its bench with two more new caps, and Argentina had the last say as flanker Tomas de la Vega finished off another sustained attack.

Paul O'Connell played his 100th test, including seven for the Lions, and will lead Ireland again in the second test next weekend in Tucuman.

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Ireland 29 (Chris Henry, Jonathan Sexton, Andrew Trimble tries; Sexton conversion, 2 penalties, Ian Madigan 2 penalties), Argentina 17 (Manuel Montero, Tomas de la Vega tries; Nicolas Sanchez conversion, penalty, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias conversion). HT: 11-10.

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