Nathan Hughes’ first Test try and Semesa Rokoduguni’s second-half score earned England a scrappy 21-8 win over Argentina at Twickenham.
Head coach Eddie Jones’ frustrations were clear after a scrappy encounter, which also featured 11 points from the boot of George Ford, and with his compatriots Australia sure to offer a sterner test next Saturday.
Argentina, who have now lost 18 times in 23 Tests since reaching the 2015 World Cup semi-finals, scored a late try through Nicolas Sanchez to sour Jones’ mood further.
What they said
England head coach Eddie Jones: “I don’t see there’s any reason why I shouldn’t be frustrated. We want to play well. We want to play good rugby. It was a grindathon. They played well. We were off the pace a little bit but I thought there were some things we did really well. The reality is we haven’t played a game since March together.”
Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade: “It was a really tough game where we fought a lot for the ball. It was a big battle in the forwards. There were very few opportunities for both sides. England took advantage when they had opportunities and we were not able to.”
Tweet of the match
Star man – Sam Underhill
The Bath man was one of the few positives, tackling well and making a nuisance of himself at the breakdown, as an openside flanker should. Mako Vunipola and Hughes also performed well.
Moment of the match
Lozowski tore through the Argentina defence to awaken the Twickenham crowd from their slumber and spark the move which led to Rokoduguni’s score from Slade’s long pass.
Work in progress
Like Twickenham, which is undergoing a face lift, and the turf made patchy by hosting NFL, Jones’ team is growing. Jones had hoped his more peripheral players would show their ability, but the performance instead emphasised the importance of today’s water carrier, Owen Farrell.
England: Mike Brown: 6 (out of 10), Anthony Watson: 7, Jonathan Joseph: 6, Henry Slade: 6, Elliot Daly: 6, George Ford: 6, Ben Youngs: 6, Mako Vunipola: 8, Dylan Hartley: 6, Dan Cole: 6, Courtney Lawes: 7, George Kruis: 6, Chris Robshaw: 6, Sam Underhill: 7, Nathan Hughes: 8. Replacements: Two replacements swept England out of reach. Alex Lozowski broke from inside his own half to start the moved and Semesa Rokoduguni finished it on the right wing. 8
Who’s up next?
England v Australia, Twickenham, Test match, Saturday, November 18
Italy v Argentina, Florence, Test match, Saturday, November 18