Ireland had to prevail in Dublin with a 28-17 victory over Argentina, which seriously injured Sean O'Brien and Kieran Marmion.
Marmion, Bundee Aki and Luke McGrath scored Ireland's efforts as the Six Nations Champions kicked off their November campaign with a staccato victory over the stubborn pumas. Bautista Delguy came to Argentina, who took a third penalty in the second half thanks to Nicolás Sánchez & # 39 ;, before Ireland scored 13 points on the back.
Joe Schmidt's men lost O & # 39; Brien to an arm injury and Scrum-Half-Marmion had a leg problem – and that after Robbie Henshaw complained in a warmup with a thigh defect.
Ireland could now do without the British and Irish Lions test star O'Brien and Marmion for the eagerly awaited New Zealand match in Dublin next weekend.
The hapless O'Brien, who started his first test after almost a year of shoulder and knee discomfort, now seems ready for another sideline effort.
Irish captain Rory Best said: "We were probably a bit slow from the blocks and they won the 50-50s. We really had to dig deep and remove parts of the first half.
"There is a lot to work on and we know that next week we will take a big step forward against New Zealand and we know that we have to get much better."
Ireland's hurry and expectations were almost surpassed from the start. Sánchez & # 39; s shot on goal gave Argentina an early lead before the hosts took three penalties to the corner.
But just when Ireland wanted to leave the 22 of his opponents with empty hands, Marmion threw home after a heavy crush. Sexton missed the conversion before Johnny Sánchez missed the second reboot after a sloppy Irish job. Matías Orlando and Jerónimo de la Fuente then built the Irish midfield for a good pumas game, Delguy plunged happily at the corner.
Ireland's inaccuracy bit again as the pack missed a set-line jump and only made five meters. The forward-traded stony faces and expressionless expressions drove Argentina from his own scrum-ball to try. Aki scoured the traffic to storm home as Ireland chased after control.
Sexton went down to Ireland with Sanchez penalties to bring a tricky 15-14 lead into the break.
Sánchez threw his third penalty to put the Pumas in a 17-15 lead to start the second half.
Ireland retired 18-17 before the hour, but had to face the last quarter without Marmion. His replacement, McGrath, picked up Ireland's third attempt to beat the win and calm the frayed nerves.
"It was a real test match, really tedious," said Schmidt. "They were tough in the back, tough and tough on the line and really squeezed us."