Manhandled for several months, the English regained their bite on Saturday against Argentina by obtaining a large victory (27-10). However, they played almost the entire match numerically inferior. They were able to count on an exceptional opener, George Ford, author of his team’s 27 points on foot.
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The air of Marseille did the greatest good to the English, who clearly beat (27-10) on Saturday September 9 the Argentinian team at the Vélodrome stadium. Coming out of a long period of disappointing results, they successfully entered the World Cup thanks in particular to their opener George Ford, who scored 27 points for his team.
However, the meeting had started in the worst possible way for the English. After a head-to-head clash between Tom Curry and the Puma Juan Cruz Malia who caught an aerial ball, the match referee, Frenchman Mathieu Raynal, sent off the English third row for 10 minutes.
As provided for by the new “bunker” rule put in place for this World Cup, Mathieu Raynal then asked an independent arbiter to examine the images of this action to find out if Tom Curry deserved a more serious sanction. The answer came eight minutes later and he was sent off for good, leaving his teammates at 14 for the rest of the match.
The English managed to cope initially, taking advantage in particular of the temporary expulsion of the Argentinian Santiago Carreras (9th), guilty of a dangerous tackle. He too had to wait for the verdict from the “bunker”. And he was able to join his partners (16th) while the two teams were tied (3-3).
In stifling heat, the Pumas tried to knock out the numerically inferior English. But their first attempt to play a hand penalty in the opposing 10 meters resulted in a good English defense which managed to recover the ball. And they will have the greatest difficulty creating new offensive actions.
Three drops from George Ford
The English, deprived of their fly-half Owen Farrell suspended for this match, relied on his replacement George Ford, author of a magnificent drop (26th). And he followed up with two more against the Argentinian posts to give England a 9-point lead (12-3) at half-time: one on the 50 meter line (30th) then a third less distant (37th) . Three drops in one match, a performance worthy of the legendary Jonny Wilkinson during the 2003 World Cup semi-final against France.
The same George Ford continues to shine after the restart with a new penalty (46th). The English public sang “Sweet home Sweet Chariot” to support the valiant players of the XV de la Rose who resisted very well against the clumsy and uninspired Argentinians. They are punished with two new penalties (54th and 58th) and find themselves trailing by 18 points (21-3).
Despite being more numerous on the field, the Argentines failed to undermine a very combative and better organized England team. The Pumas made more mistakes and continued to be punished by gunner George Ford who scored three more points (65th). And they came up against the English defense again (69th) as they threw their last strength into the battle.
The match ended with two new penalties scored by George Ford, hero of this meeting. He was able to materialize the excellent defensive work of his teammates who constantly put the Argentinians at fault. The only glimmer of hope for the Argentinians was a try scored by Rodrigo Bruni and converted by Boffelli (80th). They will have a lot of work to do before their next match against Samoa on September 22.
Read alsoFind the results and schedule of the World Cup