Rugby: Inspired Argentina beat brave Ireland to reach World Cup semis

Argentina's wing Juan Imhoff (centre) celebrating after scoring his team's second try against Ireland during their Rugby World Cup quarter-final at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on Oct 18, 2015.
Argentina's wing Juan Imhoff (centre) celebrating after scoring his team's second try against Ireland during their Rugby World Cup quarter-final at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales on Oct 18, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

CARDIFF (REUTERS) - Argentina scored two late tries to seal an emphatic 43-20 win over Ireland in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals on Sunday and continue the Southern Hemisphere's domination of the tournament.

Fresher after having the luxury of resting key players for their last pool match, the South Americans raced away to a 17-0 lead inside the first 13 minutes after Matias Moroni and Juan Imhoff scored tries, but they had to hold on grimly in the second half.

Ireland, decimated by injuries and suspensions, responded with tries from Luke Fitzgerald and Jordi Murphy to cut the margin to three points, but they never got back on level terms at an electric Millennium Stadium.

Argentina flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez booted five penalties to keep the scoreboard kicking along and the Pumas sealed victory with tries by fullback Joaquin Tuculet and a second from Imhoff.

It was more heartbreak for Six Nations champions Ireland, who were bidding to reach the World Cup semi-finals for the first time after losing their five previous quarter-finals.

Semi-finalists in 2007, the Pumas will play Australia or Scotland next weekend for a place in the final. New Zealand and South Africa will contest the other semi-final.