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Dublin – Ireland scored seven tries in a 46-24 demolition of Argentina on Saturday to ensure they will be seeded when the draw is made for the next World Cup and leave the South Americans waiting to find out if they will join them.
Ireland had to win the match, billed as the most important one either side would likely play this side of the 2015 tournament, to book a place in the second tier of seeds for the December 3 draw and four tries in a blistering first half got them on their way.
Debutant wing Craig Gilroy got a first international try, as did the recently blooded Simon Zebo and Richardt Strauss while Jonathan Sexton and Tommy Bowe got a brace each to maintain Ireland's unbeaten home record against Argentina.
Argentina, who got two late consolation tries, will slip out of the world's top eight and face a potentially tougher World Cup pool draw if Samoa beat France later on Saturday and Wales defeat either New Zealand or Australia this weekend and next.
If the in-form Samoans lose by fewer than 15 points, they will tie with Argentina on 78.71 ranking points, with the higher-placed team determined by the next decimal place. – Reuters