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England wrap up series with Argentina thriller

By Tom Webber
Danny Care scores a try for England against Argentina

England battled past a combative Argentina for an entertaining but hard-fought 35-25 win in Santa Fe, finishing their tour of the South American nation unbeaten.

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Just like the first Test in San Juan, this was a match in which momentum swung back and forth. Argentina pegged England back three times until Will Collier’s first international try and a drop-goal from George Ford, once again impressing thoroughly, went unanswered.

Eddie Jones’ side were boosted by the return of former captain Chris Robshaw while Sam Underhill made his debut and it was the forwards who pushed England over the line, Collier finding the line from a driving maul after a line-out in the left corner.

Ford successfully kicked the conversion and added a drop-goal to put the victory beyond doubt, showing the class and composure that has earned him so much praise.

England got off to a great start when Joe Launchbury, who will surely have been disappointed not to have received a late British and Irish Lions call-up from Warren Gatland, sent Charlie Ewels between the posts in the fifth minute, but Argentina hit straight back when Joaquin Tuculet darted between Marland Yarde and Mike Brown to touch down.

Brown more than atoned by brilliantly anticipating Nicolas Sanchez’s cross-field kick and racing down the right, stepping inside of Tuculet and sending a single-handed offload back outside for Piers Francis to score his first England try.

However, a speculative kick from Francis was blocked by Pablo Matera and the flanker kicked forward twice before grabbing at a favourable bounce to finish the job, though Sanchez was unable to send Argentina clear with a conversion.

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Brown was again key when England crossed three minutes later, the full-back leading a counter-attack that Harlequins team-mate Danny Care finished after Jeronimo De La Fuente’s speculative behind-the-back pass had been intercepted.

Emiliano Boffelli exploited more weak defending from Yarde to bring Argentina level again with 20 minutes remaining, but Collier powered across before Ford wrapped up an impressive victory by taking his points tally for the match to 15.

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