Jacob Stockdale scored two tries as Ireland finished their November Tests with a 28-19 win over Argentina at the Aviva.
The Ulster man’s double and a try from CJ Stander saw Joe Schmidt's men make it three wins from three in the freezing Dublin air as a tired Argentina could only produce in patches.
The hosts held a 13-0 advantage at the break and the win never looked in doubt but Ireland, with most of their frontline back in action, failed to kill off the opposition, who scored three second-half tries.
Ireland got off to the perfect start and were in front by the fourth minute.
Keeping the ball in hand and looking to attack from deep, the reward came in the form of a close-range penalty after Argentina had gone off their feet at a ruck.
Johnny Sexton, Ireland’s top point scorer against this opposition, knocked over the penalty and doubled up ten minutes later after the hosts pushed Argentina off their own scrum.
The visitors could not get a foothold and Ireland turned their dominance into their first try of the day in the 21st minute.
It was man of the match Stockdale who raced away for the touchdown after being set free by Sexton but the vital touch came from Chris Farrell, in for the injured Robbie Henshaw, whose soft hands in midfield opened up the space for his out-half to break the line.
Ireland were irresistible. Stockdale, Sean O’Brien, Tadhg Furlong, Rob Kearney and Stander seemed to be everywhere.
Los Pumas were tired, they had made 54 tackles by the half hour, and had been penalised at two of their four put-ins at the scrum.
They could, however, have narrowed the margin but Emiliano Boffelli’s long-range penalty was off target.
Referee Mathieu Raynal assured Agustin Creevy that his TMO would let him know if they saw foul play as the captain appealed for an off-the-ball tackle by Sexton, who finished with 11 points from the boot.
"If we missed it, I’m sorry," said the Frenchman.
"You are only missing with us," fired back the veteran Jaguares man, winning his 71st cap.
Nothing was going the way of the Rugby Championship team, whose win over Italy last week ended a run of seven losses.
And it got worse at the start of the second half.
Sexton again found Stockdale, who had drifted in off his wing, but this time the Ulster back had more work to do.
Stockdale, who scored on his home debut against South Africa two weeks ago, spotted the gap and meandered towards the corner, diving in to claim his second of the day.
Sexton added the kick from the sideline to make it 20-0 in the 43rd minute.
But, having been so well disciplined in the first half, Ireland then proceeded to give away four penalties in the space of a few minutes, a spell that led to Joaquin Tuculet touching down Nicolas Sanchez’s dink through.
After a break for a TMO consultation, the out-half converted to make it a two-score game.
Ireland lost Farrell, in the mix for man of the match, to a dead leg before Sexton declined a three-pointer.
From the lineout, Stander burst over for his seventh Ireland try, a touchdown that sparked handbags between the sides, whose last meeting came in the 2015 World Cup, a game that Argentina won comprehensively.
Again, Daniel Hourcade’s men appealed for a TMO intervention. Raynal dismissed the query saying "we can’t check everything".
"For us this is a problem," said Sanchez. It certainly was.
Despite having 80% possession 30 minutes into the second half, they trailed by 18 points.
But they refused to capitulate. Juan Manuel Leguizamon powered over in the corner for their second try but Sanchez couldn’t convert.
Argentina, who were finishing a season that included 50 long-haul flights for most of the players, saw their chances extinguished when Sexton kicked his third penalty of the day with five minutes left.
But there was still time for the South Americans to have the final say.
Sebastian Cancelliere and Ramiro Moyano combined to go from under their own posts to the far corner where the Jaguares wing was quickest to react to a grubber.
This time Sanchez found the target and for the first time in the last four Dublin games between the teams Ireland's winning margin was less than 14 points.
Next up for Ireland is a trip to Paris for a Six Nations opener against France in the springtime.
Ireland: Rob Kearney, Adam Byrne, Chris Farrell, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best (capt), Tadhg Furlong, James Ryan, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien, CJ Stander.
Replacements: James Tracy, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Devin Toner, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath, Ian Keatley, Andrew Conway.
Argentina: Joaquin Tuculet, Ramiro Moyano, Matias Moroni, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Emiliano Boffelli, Nicolas Sanchez, Martin Landajo;Tomas Lezana, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera, Tomas Lavanini, Matias Alemanno, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Agustin Creevy (capt), Santiago Garcia Botta.
Replacements: Julian Montoya, Lucas Noguera, Enrique Pieretto, Guido Petti, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Gonzalo Bertranou, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Sebastian Cancelliere.