Flanker Alan Quinlan scored a first half try for Ireland after a break by captain Keith Wood but was then forced to leave the field with a dislocated shoulder. With Alan Quinlan now out with a shoulder injury, Munster's David Wallace has been called into the Ireland squad and is expected to be in Australia within 48 hours.
Ireland, who led 10-9 at halftime, were rocked by a magnificent drop goal by Argentina fullback Ignacio Corleto which gave his side a one-point lead going into the final quarter.
The Irish finally poured on the pressure with some spirited forays allowing Ronan O'Gara to kick two penalties.
Argentine first five-eighth Gonzalo Quesada then reduced the margin to a point with a penalty and Ireland in the end were grateful just to beat the side who knocked them out of the last World Cup.
Final Score: Ireland 16 Argentina 15
Dempsey; Horgan, O Driscoll, Maggs, Hickie; Humphreys, Stringer; Corrigan, Wood, Hayes, O Kelly, O Connell, S Easterby, Quinlan, Costello. Replacements: Horan for Hayes (18-22), Miller for Quinlan (20), O Gara for Humphreys, Horan for Corrigan (both 56). Not used: Byrne, O Callaghan, G Easterby, Kelly. Argentina:
Corleto; Nunez Piossek, Orengo, F Contepomi, Albanese; Quesada, Pichot; Grau, Mendez, Reggiardo, Lobbe, Alvarez, Ostiglia, Martin, Longo. Replacements: Scelzo for Reggiardo (72). Not used: Ledesma, Albacete, Phelan, Fernandez Miranda, Gaitan, Martin Hernandez. Scorers:
Ireland: Quinlan try; Humphreys con, pen; O Gara 2 pens.
Argentina: Quesada 3 pens, drop gl; Corleto drop gl.
Venue: Adelaide Oval Attendance: 30,203