England guarantee their progress to the knock-outs after defeating 14-man Argentina
Played – 24
England wins – 19
Argentina wins – 4
Draws – 1
Did You Know?
- Four years after being eliminated after their third match, England became the first team to clinch a quarter-final berth.
- Pumas hooker Agustin Creevy came on for his 88th Test appearance, overtaking Felipe Contepomi’s Argentina record of 87.
- Tomas Lavanini’s red card was the fifth at this World Cup – a new record. There were four red cards at the 1995 and 1999 tournaments.
- Ben Youngs and Dan Cole each won their 91st cap, overtaking Jonny Wilkinson to lie joint third in England’s all-time list.
- Jonny May has scored 15 Test tries since the start of 2018 – more than any other player.
- Luke Cowan-Dickie has scored a try in all three of England’s matches at Japan 2019.
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In a nutshell
There was a real tension before kick-off, with fans bouncing in the build-up and the accumulative pressures of England hoping to prove they weren’t “boring” and the general closeness of the pool adding to it. In the 12th minute there was even an all-in as Pablo Matera put a late hit on Ben Youngs.
It was all set to be one of those slugfests. But when Tomas Lavanini got a red card in the 18th minute all that was left was some frustration on the way to an inevitable result. England got their bonus point win.
People will say the card ruined the contest – and it did – but there was no hiding for the big man. He failed to bend with Owen Farrell running right at him, and after his shoulder thumped the England captain’s head, the colour of referee Nigel Owens’s card was set. His World Cup is over.
It was a scrappy affair before and after the card – Farrell missed all four of his shots at goal in the opening 40 and there are serious questions of why on earth he did not leave the field for an HIA – but the advantage was always going to tell. The second half was business-like for Eddie Jones’s charges.
England’s first try came from knocking a ball into the opposition 22 and making them run it out of bounds. When the lineout plunged towards the line it was brought down, leaving George Ford to draw two defenders and send Jonny May over for the score.
England toiled with their man advantage after the carding, and it took until the 35th minute for Elliot Daly to add a second try. Again the forwards went close, with Maro Itoje an eyelash away from the try-line. Farrell was sent the ball from that ruck, and he slung it to Daly who, with May screaming on his outside, arced in between Matias Moroni and Emiliano Bofelli.
Five minutes into the second half Ford wrapped up the try bonus, crashing over from a few metres out as England marched forward. Farrell finally got his shooting boots on, slotting a settling conversion.
England cracked open from set-piece in the final quarter as a switch in midfield set Matias Moroni racing through for a retaliatory try, but they closed up again. As Jack Nowell took a ball tight to the right flank – this being the wing’s reintroduction to Test rugby having not played since 1 June – he bounced into three defenders and went wheeling in the opposite direction to score a converted try.
It was all rounded off by a driven for Luke Cowan-Dickie and then another all-in.
After the pushing and shoving ended, Farrell slotted the conversion.
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There was an intensity to the ball-throw celebration from George Ford as he started the second the half with a try of his own. It often feels like he is out there trying to prove a point when he directs play for England now.
With a man down, England needed to build pressure and slot kicks in behind. His luck was in when he slid a kick into Pumas territory and it went out after hitting the pylon in the left corner but he also knocked a precision clearance into the right-hand corner too. When a blitz came up he dinked it over the top.
He was making decisions quickly and he was accurate. It was not sexy – but in a game when nothing was, it’s the efficiency you admire.
England head coach Eddie Jones: “We’re exactly where we wanted to be, with 15 points after three games, we’ve played in front of a fantastic crowded Tokyo stadium and that’s that’s another great day for the World Cup.”
Argentina head coach Mario Ledesma: “Well, obviously after the red card it became really hard. We made many easy mistakes that we could have avoided, especially in the second half. We couldn’t build momentum and we were with a guy less. So we needed a clear goal. We had a couple of good plays that we couldn’t play. And obviously, in the second half, it became too hard for the boys.”
England: Elliot Daly; Anthony Watson (Jack Nowell 68), Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell (captain), Jonny May, George Ford (Henry Slade 68), Ben Youngs (Willi Heinz 47); Joe Marler (Mako Vunipola 63), Jamie George (Luke Cowan-Dickie 65), Kyle Sinckler (Dan Cole 62), Maro Itoje, George Kruis (Courtney Lawes 55), Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola (Lewis Ludlam 40).
Argentina: Emiliano Boffelli; Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando (Bautista Delguy 57), Jeronimo de la Fuente, Santigo Carreras, Benjamin Urdapilleta (Lucas Mensa 60), Tomas Cubelli (Felipe Ezcurra 60); Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro (Mayco Vivas 49), Julian Montoya (Agustin Creevy), Juan Figallo (Santiago Medrano), Guido Petti (Tomas Lezana 54), Tomas Lavanini, Pablo Matera (captain), Marcos Kremer, Javier Ortega Desio (Matias Alemanno).
Try: Moroni 70. Con: Boffelli. Pen: Urdapilleta.
Red card: Lavanini 18.
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