Planet Rugby

Convincing England see off Pumas

08th June 2013 21:56

Share:

billy twelvetrees england argentina

Exceptional: Billy Twelvetrees

Three first-half tries handed England a 32-3 victory over hosts Argentina in the first of their two-match series in Salta.

Stuart Lancaster's side stormed out of the blocks in the opening 40 minutes to rack up tries through David Strettle, Billy Twelvetress and Ben Morgan - the latter pair particularly impressive throughout on their return to Test rugby.

Argentina were without 21 of their leading stars, all rested for the Rugby Championship, and the rustiness in their set-piece game hounded them throughout as considerably more line-outs were lost rather than won.

England were not so lackadaisical. The power of Morgan reminded everyone of what England had been missing throughout their Six Nations campaign, the Gloucester number eight rampant from the base of the scrum and in the loose.

Twelvetrees' step and handling also showed that perhaps England's approach of physicality first in midfield should be consigned to the past, his footwork and distribution leaving Argentina ragged.

For all of their first-half excellence however, England struggled to add more points in the second period until Vunipola's late score as Argentina rallied.

The English scrum - a concern in the local press beforehand - proved dominant early on and provided England with their first points of the match after Burns landed two long-range penalties from nearly halfway within three minutes.

A first try shortly followed. Turning over ball at the line-out, England countered through Christian Wade, setting up the platform for Jonathan Joseph to fix the defence and hand Strettle a finish in the left corner.

Further struggles for the Pumas at the line-out kept them under the cosh, England breaking through Twelvetrees in an attack that culminated eventually with a score for Gloucester centre - England's patience and precision with their offloading game too much for Argentina's defence to handle.

Full of confidence, England's precision evaded them in the build-up to a possible third try that would have put the game to bed, the visitors instead leading 18-0 after half an hour.

Morgan had been England's outstanding performer thus far and he capped it with a try in the right-hand corner, leaving Argentina on the ropes.

The hosts did finish the half with something to hold on to, a Martin Bustos Moyano penalty putting them on the board but a long way behind with the score standing at 25-3.

Bustos Moyano didn't help matters with two missed penalties early on after the interval - Argentina enjoying more possession but failing to convert it into points.

England nearly countered with a breakaway try, the footwork and passing of Morgan, Twelvetrees and Joseph creating an opportunity before the final pass eluded Strettle into touch.

More frustation followed - only a forward pass denied Twelvetrees a second try with the posts at his mercy as England's first-half precision abandoned them.

Argentina had been searching for some precision of their own in the set-piece all match long and their line-out continued to stutter, ironic cheers coming from the crowd when possession was actually retained.

Their scrum was no different, England repelling pressure within their own 22 as the Pumas looked less like scoring as the match wore on.

Tempers had threatened to boil over throughout and as England struggled to add to their tally and were left frustrated, Courtney Lawes being sent to the sin-bin.

With England's defence impregnable and Argentina unable to convert their growing wealth of possession, Vunipola crossed to finish off the closing quarter - English minds looking ahead to the second Test in Buenos Aires and a first ever series victory on Argentinian soil.

The scorers:

For Argentina:
Pen: Bustos Mayano

For England:
Tries: Strettle, Twelvetrees, Morgan, Vunipola
Cons: Burns 3
Pens: Burns 2
Yellow Card: Lawes

Argentina: 15 Martin Bustos Moyano, 14 Matias Orlando, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Felipe Contepomi (c), 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Tomas Leonardi, 7 Benjamin Macome, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Esteban Lozada, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Martin Garcia Veiga, 1 Pablo Henn.
Replacements: 16 Mauricio Guidone, 17 Guillermo Roan, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Tomas De la Vega, 21 Nicolas Vergallo, 22 Gabriel Ascarate, 23 Belisario Agulla.

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 David Strettle, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Tom Wood (c), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Paul Doran Jones, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Kyle Eastmond, 23 Ben Foden.

Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
Assessor: Carlos Molinari (Argentina)

by Ben Coles
@bencoles_

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954