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Solomona snatches stunning victory for England over Pumas

By Christopher Devine
Denny Solomona scores a match-winning try on his England debut

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Denny Solomona went from zero to hero by marking his international rugby union debut with a stunning 79th-minute try that earned an experimental England side a thrilling 38-34 victory over Argentina in San Juan.


With many of his leading players unavailable due to British and Irish Lions duty, England coach Eddie Jones selected four debutants on Saturday, while Solomona was among a number of new caps brought on from the bench.

The tourists were behind on four occasions and former rugby league star Solomona was guilty of two missed tackles that led to Argentina tries in quick succession following his second-half introduction.

However, with his side three points down as the final whistle loomed and seemingly destined for defeat, Solomona sensationally cut in off the right touchline and surged under the posts for a wonderful solo try that proved decisive.

England were on the back foot initially and could have few complaints at falling behind as Argentina debutant Emiliano Boffelli touched down a precise grubber kick from Nicolas Sanchez, who duly converted.


Two penalties from the hugely impressive George Ford and a Marland Yarde try in the right corner edged England ahead, only for Argentina to regain the upper hand prior to the break through Tomas Lavanini’s close-range try and a Sanchez penalty.

A frenetic second half began with Ford splitting the posts for a three-pointer before a delightful inside step and kick from Henry Slade left Jonny May with the easiest of finishes.

Solomona was introduced with England six points to the good, but an early slip from the Sale Sharks wing helped create a gap for Martin Landajo, who surged clear and put the supporting Jeronimo de la Fuente under the posts.

Sanchez’s conversion put Argentina in front once more and he was able to convert again after a stunning length-of-the-field move was rounded off by Joaquin Tuculet, with Solomona again guilty of a missed tackle.


England would not lie down, though, and Ford followed his sixth successful kick at goal with a match-levelling score, the fly-half collecting a loose ball and exchanging passes with replacement Piers Francis on his way to the try-line.

Ford could not convert from the touchline and England looked to be beaten when Juan Martin Hernandez pinged over a late drop goal.

However, Argentina’s decision to take three points rather than push for a try, with referee Nigel Owens playing advantage, proved misguided as England clinically made the most of a last chance to attack through Solomona.



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