England qualify for knockout stages with a game to spare
Two tries in the final six-minutes made the scoreline look more impressive than they were on the day, and maybe if Argentina hadn’t had a man sent off in the 18th minute it could have been a cagier affair.
Eddie Jones’ team sit top of the group table without having found a consistent rhythm to their play as yet; something that must be worrying for the other teams in the competition. With their strength in depth and when this team clicks, what will they be capable of?
The Puma’s fans were in good spirit before kick-off, however, when Tomás Lavanini was sent off in the 18th minute for a high tackle on Owen Farrell they quietened fearing the worse. Argentina initially showed some defiance before the numerical advantage started to show.
England led 15-3 at the interval, a score which if Owen Farrell had his kicking boots on should have been higher as he missed four consecutive kicks in the first half, missed kicks that Eddie Jones’ will hope he has gotten out of his system ready for the knockout rounds.
The game ended 39-10 and by the end, there were some particularly impressive performances from Elliot Daly at full-back, the man of the match George Ford and the hungry Sam Underhill who ended the game as England’s top tackler.
Even without the sending off, the Pumas haven’t been at their best at this tournament and England would have still won through, especially when the Exeter trio of Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Nowell and Henry Slade came on, with Cowan-Dickie and Nowell scoring tries late on.
It is the depth of this England squad that is impressive and with only a few niggling concerns going into their last group game with France including a twisted ankle for Billy Vunipola they can afford to rotate before the knockout stages start.
England will play France, who squeezed past Tonga 23-21 over the weekend, next Saturday, but he has dismissed talk of anything but going for a win. Victory will mean they top Pool C and most likely set up a quarter-final against Australia. If England loses to France, it will set them to face Wales in the quarter-finals and they would avoid facing the favourites, New Zealand, until the final itself, if they make it that far.
England Vs France kicks-off on Saturday 12th October at 09.15 am (BST)
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