Rugby World Cup 2019: England through to quarters with easy win over Argentina

Tomas Lavanini was sent off for a high shot on Owen Farrell in the first half as England eased to victory over Pool C rival Argentina.

George Ford of England celebrates after scoring a try during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group C game.   -  GETTY IMAGES

England secured its place in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals with a game to spare as it brushed aside 14-man Argentina 39-10 at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday.

Jonny May had already crossed for the first of England's six tries when Tomas Lavanini saw red for a high tackle on Owen Farrell in the 17th minute.

The second-row led with the shoulder and also caught the England captain around the neck, leaving referee Nigel Owens with little choice but to send him off.

The dismissal came with the score at 5-3 but effectively ended the clash of the top-tier nations as a contest, with Eddie Jones' side capitalising on the extra space to run out comfortable winners.

Elliot Daly reached the line despite a juggling act with the ball, while Ben Youngs produced a burst from the base of a ruck before half-time, the scrum-half having also crossed against the Pumas in the 2011 tournament.

 

Farrell struggled with his kicking, missing his first four attempts at the posts in the first half to leave the score at 15-3, yet his profligacy off the tee was never going to prove costly in the final reckoning.

The centre did land the extras after George Ford forced his way over from close range and a further penalty made it 25-3 after 53 minutes, raising the possibility of a second-half avalanche of points from England.

Instead it eased up, allowing Argentina to grab a consolation try through Matias Moroni following an excellent line-out move.

Conceding sparked England into life again, though, as substitute Jack Nowell marked his first appearance back from injury with a smart finish in the right corner before the pack carried Luke Cowan-Dickie over the line.


Youngs at heart

Scrum-half Youngs marked his 92nd Test appearance - seeing him overtake Jonny Wilkinson to become the most-capped back for England - with a well-taken try.

Jones' squad were efficient rather than excellent, as has been the case in the World Cup so far, but it will be a major boost to see Nowell and prop Mako Vunipola - both on as second-half replacements - back in action.

Shouldering the blame

Argentina had fronted up during the first quarter, even taking the lead with a penalty from Benjamin Urdapilleta.

However, Lavanini's red ruined its hopes of an upset result that would have put the pool back in the balance. Now the Pumas seem certain to be returning home early with their tails between their legs.

What's next?

Top spot in Pool C will be up for grabs when England takes on France in Yokohama next weekend. Argentina, meanwhile, completes its round-robin fixtures by facing the United States on Wednesday.

'England on track'

Jones declared England is "exactly where we wanted to be" after securing a place in the quarterfinals.

"We are exactly where we wanted to be," the Australian said. "We have 15 points after three games and have played in front of a fantastic crowd at Tokyo Stadium. 

"We were a bit rusty after two easy games and a long break - that came out in the first half. In the second half, we had a bit better rhythm."

Asked if Vunipola was taken off as a precaution, he replied with a smile: "He had too much Kobe beef mate!"