England grab back-to-back wins in Argentina

Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:15
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MATCH REPORT: England beat Argentina 35-25 in Santa Fe on Saturday to clinch the two-Test series 2-0.

The tourists, level at 25-25 with 16 minutes left, finished stronger as prop Will Collier barged over for a try that flyhalf George Ford converted.

Ford sealed success for England, lacking 30 of their best players, primarily due to British and Irish Lions call-ups, with a drop goal six minutes from time.

The playmaker excelled in both Tests, scoring 23 points in the first last weekend and 15 in the second. 

Argentina were left to rue three missed shots at goal in Santa Fe from usually ultra-accurate flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez.

England scored first when Charlie Ewels took a pass from fellow lock Joe Launchbury to power over the line and flyhalf Ford converted. 

It took Argentina only three minutes to level as a cross-field move ending with fullback Joaquin Tuculet bursting between two rivals to score and Sanchez converted.

Ford and Sanchez exchanged penalties, before another successful kick at goal by the Argentine playmaker gave the hosts a 13-10 lead midway through the opening half.

The first Sanchez penalty was initially ruled wide by the assistant referees only for the decision to be reversed when the television match official was consulted.

A dominant Argentina were well worth their lead, but found themselves five points behind after a three-minute purple patch from the tourists. 

Ford levelled via a penalty on 29 minutes at a packed 33 000-seat Estadio Brigadier Estanislao Lopez.

The highlight of the opening half followed soon after as England fullback Mike Brown leapt to intercept a Sanchez cross-kick and raced away to send centre Piers Francis over.

Ford saw his conversion fly right and wide, his first miss of the match and only the second of the two-Test series.

England had two let-offs early in the second half as Sanchez fluffed a penalty and Jonny May dodged a yellow card for a late, high tackle on rival wing Ramiro Moyano.

The first score of the half came on 52 minutes when a Francis grubber kick was blocked and flank Pablo Matera kicked the ball, then caught it and dived over.

Sanchez was having an off-day with goal-kicking and a fluffed conversion attempt was his third consecutive miss of the match. 

A seesaw struggle took two more turns around the hour as scrumhalf Danny Care finished off a Brown break after a midfield turnover and Ford converted for a seven-point advantage.   

The lead lasted just three minutes before centre Jeronimo de la Fuente broke clear and sold a dummy before sending wing Emiliano Boffelli in for a try that Sanchez converted. 

With 20 minutes left it was 25-25, and a thriller was unfolding to match the first Test, won 38-34 by England in San Juan.

England moved ahead for the fifth time in the Test after 65 minutes when replacement prop Will Collier scored off a driving maul and Ford added the extra points. 

A Ford drop goal stretched the lead to 10 points with six minutes remaining.

Man of the match: Fullback Mike Brown had a big hand in two of his team’s four tries. However, the award goes once again to flyhalf George Ford for his game management and his accurate boot.

Moment of the match: Piers Francis' try which stemmed from a great breakout from fullback Mike Brown.

Villain of the match: Argentina lock Tomas Lavanini. He was more interested in causing injuries than playing rugby.

For Argentina:
Tries: Tuculet, Matera, Boffelli
Cons: Sanchez 2
Pens: Sanchez 2

For England:
Tries: Ewels, Francis, Care, Collier
Cons: Ford 3
Pens: Ford 2
DG: Ford

Teams:

Argentina: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Enrique Pieretto, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Lucas Noguera Paz.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Juan Martin Hernández, 23 Matias Moroni.

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Joe Launchbury, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Will Collier, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Denny Solomona.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Egon Seconds (South Africa)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

AFP & @rugby365com