Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Murphy curses wintry conditions

Geordan Murphy

Geordan Murphy is braced for a snow-covered aerial bombardment when Ireland meet Argentina in Dublin.

Treacherous conditions are expected, with the Aviva Stadium pitch covered by snow for the captain's run while showers of rain and sleet are also forecast to hit the Irish capital.

The inclement weather is certain to increase the Pumas' reliance on the up-and-under, which is traditionally a key weapon in their arsenal and full-back Murphy said: "It's sod's law about the weather. Most players like the open spaces and don't like playing in snow or the wet. But we must face whatever conditions are there"

He added: "If it's wet and cold I'm sure it will affect the way the match is played.

"It will probably be tighter with more kicking. I was expecting high balls anyway, but I'm sure there will be a few more now. They could quite literally put snow on the ball tomorrow!"

The conditions will cause plenty of anguish among the Ireland squad, whose ambition of developing a dynamic running game this autumn have been thwarted by the weather.

Rain turned the defeat by South Africa and victory over Samoa into trench warfare and it was only against New Zealand that they were able to express themselves.

Even in the dry Argentina would be an arm wrestle, but now Ireland must end their autumn the way they started it - with a battle of attrition.

Victory is imperative and anything less would leave them with a 25% record from the four-match series, a dismal return for a team of such ambition.

Argentina, placed one position lower in the world rankings in eighth, will provide formidable opposition with their pack full of grizzled veterans.

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