Gilardi stroke undoes Ireland in Valencia opener

Six Nations tournament (Valencia)
Ireland 0 Argentina 1 (J Gilardi)
Ireland’s men fell to a frustrating 1-0 loss to Argentina in their opening game of the Six Nations tournament in Valencia.

Juan Gilardi’s 18th minute penalty stroke was the difference, converting from the spot after Ronan Gormley blocked a shot illegally with his body on the goal line from a Gonzalo Peillat drag-flick.

John Jackson became the third Irish player to reach the 200 cap mark.

John Jackson became the third Irish player to reach the 200 cap mark.

It came during a first half in which the South American side had the best of proceedings. Kyle Good and Chris Cargo had charged down a couple of corners.

Other than that, Craig Fulton’s side were highly competitive,

Indeed, they were particularly on the up in the second half when they bossed possession for vast periods of the latter stages as Los Leones sat very deep.

The Argentinians, though, defended their circle well to deny any corner chances after the break while they did superbly volley a clearance from a Shane O’Donoghue deflection – on his 100th cap – off the line.

Mikey Watt’s lively runs and John Jackson’s incisions from left back were also dangerous but drew no end result and Argentina had an opening day win. Jackson was another to reach a major milestone, becoming the third Irish man to reach 200 caps.

Ireland play again on Tuesday against India in their second game. The Indians lost 4-0 to Germany in their first tie but did recently reach the final of the Champions Trophy to show their form.

Spain beat New Zealand with two goals from Xavi Lleonart in the last game of the day.

Ireland: D Harte, J Jackson, R Gormley, M Watt, C Cargo, E Magee, S O’Donoghue, M Darling, K Good, P Gleghorne, C Harte
Subs: J Bell, G Watkins, A Sothern, J Jermyn, M Robson, M Bell

Six nations tournament (Valencia, June 27 to July 3), fixture schedule:
June 27:
Argentina 1 (J Gilardi) Ireland 0
June 28: Ireland v India, 4pm
June 30: Ireland v Spain, 8pm
July 2: Ireland v New Zealand, 10am
July 3: Ireland v Germany, 10am

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