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
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Sunday , April 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058