Ireland v Argentina
Revenge on menu for O'Gara
PA Sport
November 21, 2008
Jimmy Cowan of the All Blacks charges down a kick by Ronan O'Gara during the Guinness Series match between Ireland and New Zealand at Croke Park on November 15, 2008 in Dublin, Ireland.
A clearance from O'Gara is charged down by the All Blacks' Jimmy Cowan during their clash last weekend © Getty Images

Ronan O'Gara believes dispatching Argentina will help Ireland continue the post-World Cup healing process.

It was the Pumas who sealed Ireland's fate in France last year by coasting to a 30-15 victory in the final pool game. The result condemned the Irish, who had endured a startling collapse in form, to an embarrassing group exit.

And while O'Gara insists events at Parc des Princes have little relevance to Croke Park on Saturday, he admits revenge is on the agenda. "I don't think there is anyone struggling with form at the moment. The World Cup is not an issue now with the current camp," he said. "It was be disappointing the way it went but we have a chance to put it right tomorrow."

Ireland must topple the Pumas if they are to retain eighth place in the world rankings, which will be used to determine the seedings for the 2011 World Cup draw. A formidable outfit, Argentina have won the last three matches between the rivals and O'Gara has stressed the importance of a passionate display.

"Irrespective of who we play this weekend we need to play as a team, I don't think our problems are with the opposition," he said. "Having been at Munster's game against New Zealand on Tuesday night you have to just see what it means to fellas. It's just the passion and if we get ourselves right, we have as good a chance as any other team."

Ireland have made three changes to the side that succumbed 22-3 to New Zealand last Saturday. Geordan Murphy has replaced Girvan Dempsey at full-back, Jerry Flannery usurps Rory Best at hooker and Stephen Ferris comes in for the suspended Alan Quinlan.

Quinlan could yet feature on the bench, however, if his appeal against the three-week ban incurred for stamping against the All Blacks is successful. Skipper Brian O'Driscoll has compared tomorrow's clash to a World Cup qualifier.

"There seems to have been a lot at stake in all the games we've played against Argentina over the years," said the Ireland captain. "Post-World Cup we've built up grudge matches, one team wanting to defeat the other.

"This particular match is about seeding, you just think about now and let previous rivalries pass you by. I've been involved in World Cup qualifiers before against lower quality sides. Essentially that's what this is."


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