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England won their second summer international test match in a row against Argentina, beating the Pumas 35-25 one week after securing a 38-34 win. Substitute Will Collier scored a late try to break a 25-25 deadlock as England eventually eased into a healthy winning margin.
Earlier, the visitors relied on a strong game from fly-half George Ford, who scored 15 points, while Piers Francis scored his maiden try on his England debut.
Ford’s performance helped stake England into an early lead, but the visitors were soon pegged back by the Pumas. Argentina were helped by the prolific form of their own gifted No. 10, Nicolas Sanchez.
The skipper’s boot kicked the hosts into a slender advantage, after Joaquin Tuculet had put Argentina’s first try on the board. At this point, BBC Sport was already anticipating another close-fought and narrow finish between these two:
BBC Sport @BBCSport
This has the makings of another thriller. Two quick penalties put Argentina into a 13-10 lead over England. Watch https://t.co/zCUMJLMMrH https://t.co/iuOWy5Ksf8
England appeared on the ropes, but Ford’s smart kicking positioned them to regain the lead. They were back in front when first-time international Francis powered over.
Francis was congratulated on his maiden international try by his new club, the Northampton Saints:
Northampton Saints @SaintsRugby
😇🌹 TRRRRRRYYYYYYYY! First @EnglandRugby start, first @EnglandRugby try for @piers_francis!! A great support line from the future Saintsman!
Swift fly-half Francis had impressed from the start, catching the eye of Neil Fissler of the Sunday Express:
Neil Fissler @neilfissler
Looks like Northampton might have signed a decent player in Piers Francis. #ARGvENG
Argentina tied the score when Pablo Matera went over, but Sanchez missed the conversion. The home side was level for just four minutes, as Danny Care powered England back in front.
Three minutes later, the scores were level again when Emiliano Boffelli scored Argentina’s third try.
England’s fightback was keyed by typical power in the scrum. The visitors forced the issue until sub Collier crossed the line.
Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Ford soon chipped in with another penalty conversion to seal the victory.
Another dramatic win kept the excitement high on this Summer tour, with Fissler highlighting the difference in intensity and entertainment between these friendlies and the British Lions Tour:
Neil Fissler @neilfissler
How about we forget the first Lions test next week and just play a third game against Argentina. Been two superb games. #ARGvENG
This has been more than just a warm up for some of England’s key players. It’s also been a chance to gain vital test experience for new players such as Francis.
The domestic international Rugby setup should be stronger for the lessons learned during these matches.