Written by James Price
England made it two wins from two in their autumn campaign on Saturday, sealing a 31-12 victory over Argentina.
It wasn’t pretty, particularly in the second-half as the hosts only troubled the scorers in the final minutes after what was a good first half performance.
Credit must also go to the Pumas, who were a different side after the interval, as they looked to eat into the sizeable 24-6 half-time scoreline.
Owen Farrell opened the scoring with five minutes played after a breakdown offence from the flat Pumas, but opposite number Nicolas Sanchez replied two minutes later.
However, then came the English power as at the second attempt, the hosts powered over thanks to a pushover try from Joe Launchbury, a try that Farrell coverted. It looked like the Red Rose was on its way to an easy win.
Argentina were hanging in there though at Twickenham and bounced back off the ropes thanks to a long-range penalty attempt from Saracens outside centre Marcelo Bosch.
Stuart Lancaster’s men were still showing more signs of turning the screw however and were over again with a quarter of the game gone, again at the second time of asking. Chris Ashton had gone close and probably should have scored on the right wing before inside centre Billy Twelvetrees extended the lead to 17-6.
England winger Ashton, heavily criticised of late, was rewarded by his fly-half on 33 minutes with a simple slide over into the corner.
That was about as good as it got for England as they returned from the break with very little impetus, with the Pumas being the side in the ascendancy for the majority of the second 40.
Despite England strengthening their scrum by bringing on Alex Corbisiero in place of loosehead Joe Marler at half-time, Argentina struck first through two Sanchez penalties.
Lancaster brought on several replacements and England, with Argentina rallying, struggled to get their hands on the ball, compounded when Farrell carelessly kicked a penalty dead.
Argentina were still in the game with eight minutes left but their hopes of a come-from-behind win evaporated when Bosch missed a long-range penalty from right in front.
And that miss was compounded when replacement Ben Morgan blasted through Santiago Cordero’s attempted tackle for a try converted by fellow replacement, fly-half Toby Flood.Tweet