England continued their winning run with a heroic victory over Argentina, having played 74 minutes of the game with 14-men.
Eddie Jones’ side stretched their unbeaten run to 13 games – 12 under Jones – after sealing a 27-14 win over Los Pumas in the third match of the Old Mutual Wealth Series.
Elliot Daly was red carded on six minutes after taking out Leonardo Senatore in the air but England showed great adversity to grind out the victory.
They led at half-time after three Owen Farrell penalties and a conversion from a penalty try gave them a nine-point advantage with Facundo Isa barging over just before the break. Isa’s try came after a succession of Argentina penalties awarded for a series of collapsed scrums with Juan Martin Hernandez kicking over the extras for 16-7.
Santiago Cordero finished off a fine team move to score Argentina’s second try of the match with Hernandez’s conversion taking the score to 16-14.
However, Farrell fired over two penalties to stretch the lead to eight points and Jonny May’s try with 10 minutes remaining put further space between England and their opponents. Argentina ended the game with 14 men as Enrique Pieretto was sent off while Joe Marler was also sin binned in the same incident as England sealed victory.
England made an energetic start to the game, firing into tackles, with Billy Vunipola in particular proving to be a useful battering ram in midfield.
Farrell’s early penalty continued their decent start to the match before an incident that would define the nature of the game.
Daly was guilty of taking out Senatore in the air, and he was punished with a red card. For England it was their first red card since 2005 when Lewis Moody was sent off against Samoa and meant Jones side had 74 minutes to play with 14 men.
Argentina themselves were temporarily reduced to 14 men with Matias Orlando sent to the sin bin for intentionally slapping away an England pass when they had an overlap on the left wing. Referee Pascal Cauzere awarded a penalty try, which Farrell converted but crucially England could not hold out before the break in a key period of the game.
They were continually penalised for collapsing scrums on the stroke of half time and Cauzere’s patience eventually ran out and Dan Cole was yellow carded.
From the resulting penalty, Isa picked up off the back of the scrum and barged over for Argentina’s first points which Hernandez converted.
Argentina’s two-man advantage told shortly after the restart as they stretched the game and broke from deep.
Cordero started the break, Juan Pablo Estelles carried it down the touchline and Jeronimo de la Fuente passed inside for Cordero to finish off the move. Hernandez’s conversion narrowed the deficit to two-points in what was becoming an enthralling game.
Farrell settled England’s nerves with two penalties while Argentina also lost Pablo Matera to the sin bin and they paid the price for that indiscipline.
England created an overlap on the left wing and May flew over in the corner for his second try of the autumn series, a score that effectively settled the game.
Pieretto was red carded for stamping on Marler – who himself was sent to the bin in what was the last action of an enthralling match at Twickenham.
England: 15-Mike Brown, 14-Jonny May, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 12-Owen Farrell, 11-Elliot Daly, 10-George Ford, 9-Ben Youngs; 8-Billy Vunipola, 7-Tom Wood, 6-Chris Robshaw, 5-George Kruis, 4-Courtney Lawes, 3-Dan Cole, 2-Dylan Hartley (capt), 1-Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16-Jamie George, 17-Joe Marler, 18-Kyle Sinckler 19-Charlie Ewels, 20-Teimana Harrison, 21-Danny Care, 22-Ben Te'o, 23-Henry Slade.
Argentina: 15-Santiago Cordero, 14-Matias Orlando, 13-Matias Moroni, 12-Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, 11-Juan Pablo Estelles, 10-Juan Martin Hernandez, 9-Tomas Cubelli; 8-Leonardo Senatore, 7-Javier Ortega Desio, 6-Pablo Matera, 5-Matias Alemanno, 4-Guido Petti, 3-Ramiro Herrera, 2-Agustin Creevy (capt), 1-Lucas Noguera.
Replacements: 16-Julian Montoya, 17-Santiago Garcia Botta, 18-Enrique Pieretto, 19-Facundo Isa, 20-Tomas Lezana, 21-Martin Landajo, 22-Jeronimo De l