The England fly-half kicked all the points in a 27-10 win in Marseille
George Ford’s sublime kicking display helped England upset Argentina to get their World Cup campaign off to a sensational start as they survived an early Tom Curry red card to win 27-10 in Marseille.
Fly-half Ford kicked all 27 points, including three sublime drop-goals in just ten first-half minutes, as England’s 14-men proved to be too much for a beleaguered Argentina to handle in the headline Pool D clash.
It was Ford’s finest ever display in an England shirt, statistically as it eclipsed his previous best tally of 25 points and in reality. With captain Owen Farrell suspended and going a man down so early, never had his country needed the 30-year-old to step up to the plate more. And boy, did he deliver.
England will sweat on Curry’s availability for the rest of the tournament but that will largely be the only concern for Steve Borthwick, bar any fitness worries, who was caught beaming on the TV cameras on Saturday night, a rare sight indeed and especially of late.
Losing to Fiji at Twickenham in their final warm-up clash a fortnight ago now seems like a distant and largely irrelevant memory after this commanding display which puts England in pole position to make the quarter-finals as group winners with Japan, Chile and Samoa still to come.
England fans can now dare to dream about a knock-out clash in Marseille after a ferocious defensive display kept Los Pumas scoreless for 74 minutes after Emiliano Boffelli’s early penalty five minutes in, before replacement Rodrigo Bruni’s late consolation try.
As good as England were, Argentina were as bad and if not worse, becoming their own worst enemy with a litany of handling errors and penalties conceded. The tally was 13 apiece when all was said and done. You simply cannot expect to win Test matches performing like that.
The silver lining for Michael Cheika is that his side are unlikely to struggle to progress unless they continue to perform so far below their usual standards.