Rugby World Cup 2019: England confirm quarter-final spot by beating 14-man Argentina with comfort

England confirmed their World Cup quarter-final berth by beating 14-man Argentina 39-10 in Tokyo.

Eddie Jones’ men took an early setback when their opponents - desperate for a win to keep their own qualification hopes alive - took the lead through Benjamin Urdapilleta’s penalty.

Jonny May’s try, though, almost immediately put England back in front before Tomas Lavanini’s red card all-but ended Argentina’s hopes.

Elliot Daly and Ben Youngs added tries before the half-time break, while George Ford added to the scoreline shortly after.

Matias Moroni briefly reduced the deficit before Jack Nowell and Luke Cowan-Dickie scored to ensure a powerful win for their side.

Although things ultimately went awry for Mario Ledesma’s men, a promising start saw them almost score a third-minute try when Urdapilleta picked out wing Moroni with a delightful cross-field kick.

The number 14 beat his own man with a grubber, but before he could collect and complete the try, May pipped him to the ball.

Not long after, though, England found themselves behind when Urdapilleta converted a penalty - but not before a desperate Daly tackle prevented another try.

The lead lasted less than three minutes as May himself collected the ball out wide and scored his side’s first try of the match. Owen Farrell missed the resulting conversion, the first of four consecutive attempts which would be unsuccessful for the captain.

READ MORE: England captain Owen Farrell hails Argentina win despite 'scrappy' moments

England beat Argentina with comfort in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Owen Farrell endured a woeful first half with a series of misses - but returned back to his usual self in the second half. (Photo by William WEST / AFP)

It was a scrappy start to the match and when Argentinian captain Pablo Matera’s late foul was penalised, a brawl ensued. Not long after that, less than 16 minutes into the match, England made their fourth handling error.

But it was the 16th minute which proved the pivotal turning point. Despite being missed on first viewing, Lavanini’s high tackle met Farrell in the head, leaving referee Nigel Owens no choice but to issue a red card.

Argentina, already up against the odds, offered resilience but England eventually broke them - scoring twice in seven minutes at the end of the first half.

Daly, who was forced to juggle the ball after threatening to knock on, collected himself and carried over the line before Youngs added a third try in added time after breaking through the defence. Uncharacteristically, Farrell missed both conversions as they ended the half 15-3 ahead.

Lavanini was given his marching orders as Argentina's hopes died. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Moroni scored a late try to briefly reduce the deficit. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

Jones’ men were in no mood to let up yet, though, and Ford made it four tries when he made it over the line following Sam Underhill’s superb carry in the lead-up.

Farrell buried those first-half demons by converting, before scoring a penalty in the 54th minute as England pushed their way to a 25-3 lead.

But amid a raft of changes, including the returning Nowell, England handed the initiative back to their opposition - who mustered their remaining strength to conjure up a semblance of a fightback.

A delightful break saw Santiago Carreras pick out Moroni, who got his well-earned try and temporarily reduced the deficit to 15 with eight minutes remaining.

But it transpired that only served to provoke the beast. The returning Nowell went over in the corner - again converted - before Cowan-Dickie finished the game to ensure a comfortable win.

Featured from our writers