- Seven tries hand England 51-26 win in Buenos Aires
- Yarde storms to debut brace and England force two penalty tries
Argentina 26 England 51
Marland Yarde scored two tries on his Test debut as dominant England defeated Argentina 51-26 in Buenos Aires to win back-to-back Tests in the country for the first time in history.
Built on the foundation of a powerful scrum – which plundered two penalty tries in the first half – England withstood the expected physical opening from the Pumas and eased away with a performance of ability, accuracy and aggression.
Stuart Lancaster’s side showed their resolve early in the second half soon after the hosts trimmed the lead to six, upping the intensity and scoring three times through Rob Webber, Yarde’s first and Kyle Eastmond.
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Fly half Freddie Burns, who danced over in the first half between the penalty tries and finished with 19 points, distributed intelligently throughout while prop Joe Marler was named man of the match after performance of controlled aggression in the tight and loose.
Feeding off the intensity of the 45,000 capacity crowd at the Estadio Velez Sarsfield, Argentina started well, with physical ball carrying and the probing of veteran fly half Felipe Contepomi. The hosts took the lead after a fine kick from the playmaker pinned England back and when a defender did not roll away, full back Martin Bustos Moyano slotted an easy pen on four minutes.
After Burns levelled the score on seven after Argentina were offside, the hosts established a six-point advantage through the boot of the No.15. Marler put in two shuddering hits in a long passage of defence but eventually front row partner Dave Wilson did not roll away and Moyano again did the business from the tee.
Burns sent a penalty chance wide after a quarter of the game and soon Moyano, who missed a series of presentable chances in the first Test, made it 9-3. The two kickers exchanged further penalties before England’s scrum, which had already sent Argentina careering back on the halfway line, took over.
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On the half-hour mark Burns created the field position with an inventive dab through midfield and when Eastmond trapped the covering defender in the in-goal area, England had the put-in at the five-metre scrum. And with a combination of brute strength and unified timing, the Pumas went sailing backwards again, leaving Owens with no option but to award a penalty try. An indication of his role in the score, Marler took a series of pats to the head as the visitors trotted back to halfway.
Moments later, Burns danced between two defenders for his first Test try after a number of phases and quick ball from the forwards saw the ball spread wide. The Gloucester man could not convert his own try but England really turned the screw on the home forwards as the clock ticked towards the break.
Full back Moyano was sent to the sin bin on the stroke of half time and with Argentina pinned near their own line, England opted for a scrum instead of kicking the points. It proved to be an excellent decision from captain Wood as the eight man unit again overwhelmed their opposite numbers for a second penalty try. Burns kicked the simple conversion for a 25-12 lead at the break.
Argentina started the second half brightly and soon trimmed England’s lead to six points. After some quick ball from the forwards 10 minutes in the half, hulking wing Manuel Montero powered over and Moyano, just back on the field, kicked the simple conversion.
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But with the boisterous Buenos Aires crowd on their feet, England killed the game with three stunning tries in 10 minutes. Yarde showed his strength with a bruising carry to draw three defenders on 54 and when the ball was recycled, hooker Webber dummied and sauntered over for his first Test try.
Yarde then showed the evasive running which is allied to his power game, taking replacement scrum half Richard Wigglesworth ball on the blindside, beating the covering defender and gleefully diving over for a debut try.
Eastmond followed that with a wonderful individual try to illuminate his own first start. The Bath man picked the ball up first phase and brilliantly skipped past three defenders to score under the posts. Burns kicked two of the three conversions as England took the game away from the Pumas, leading 44-19 after 66 minutes.
Credit must go to Argentina for continuing to attack and they were rewarded on 69 minutes when No.8 Tomas Leonardi stretched over after a concerted spell of pressure on England’s line. Moyano converted but Yarde and Eastmond soon combined to bring up England’s half century.
Yarde cut a sharp line to take the diminutive No.12’s neat inside ball and speed over the line. And a special moment for Northampton Saints fly half Stephen Myler, on off the bench for his Test debut and completing the scoring with a simple conversion.
Argentina vs England teams
Argentina: Bustos; Agulla, Tiesi, Ascarate, Montero; Contepomi, Vergallo; Roan, Garcia Veiga, Bustos Moyano, Farias Cabello, Galarza, Baez, Macome, Leonardi.
Replacements: Gomez Kodela for Bustos (68), Madero for Ascarate (73), Orlando for Montero (67), Cubelli for Vergallo (60), De la Vega for Baez (60).
Not Used: Guidone, Henn, Lozada.
Sin Bin: Bustos Moyano (40).
England: Brown; May, Joseph, Eastmond, Yarde; Burns, Dickson, Marler, Webber, Wilson, Launchbury, Attwood, Wood, Kvesic, Morgan.
Replacements: Foden for Brown (64), Myler for Burns (67), Wigglesworth for Dickson (56), Doran-Jones for Marler (67), Paice for Webber (62), Thomas for Wilson (76), Vunipola for Morgan (60), Lawes for Attwood (60).