Step and unbelievable dummy sets up try


Tana Umaga smashes into brother Mike


Mike Brown's great try saving tackle


Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins


Southland sensational try after big bump


Joe Marler and his unsual pets


Horwill & Bismarck Du Plessis slaps


Female Streaker has no regrets


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps

Sunday, November 10, 2013

England beat Argentina but frustrate fans ahead of next weekend

England beat Argentina comfortably with a 31-12 win at Twickenham on Saturday, a week out from the much anticipated clash with New Zealand. Fans weren't too happy with the second half showing however, after three tries were scored in the first.

Joe Launchbury, Billy Twelvetrees and Chris Ashton scored in the first half as England turned pressure into points, and Twelvetrees redeemed himself after a poor showing last week.

England led 24-6 at halftime but failed to pile on the points in the second. Ben Morgan gave the fans something to cheer about with a late try though, as Argentina slumped to their seventh loss this year, following a disappointing Rugby Championship.

New Zealand will offer a different challenge altogether, and England coach Stuart Lancaster is fully aware of the task ahead of them, realising that they need to lift their game if they are to compete.

"We know we have got to step up. To beat New Zealand you've got to hit that for 80 minutes," he said. "While I'll be working to improve, I'm not too disappointed with this performance. We know that in any day, in any game, there are momentum changes and momentum swings.

"We've got a lot to build on and there are a lot of positives. We've now won eight of our last nine games and we are moving in the right direction with a young team," he added.

Posted at 12:09 pm | 35 comments

Viewing 35 comments

Mike D November 10, 2013 3:14 pm

Did Ashton get the ball down before he slide into touch? He went over the line with the ball held off the ground.

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themull November 10, 2013 3:29 pm

When i seen it live and now looking at it again it really doesn't seem like he did..Looks like a terrible call...

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Reality November 10, 2013 6:22 pm

I thought I was the only one to notice that. On the replay you can't see where his body is when he grounds it because of the camera angle, but immediately after it pans to the left and he's already miles in touch.

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Dan November 10, 2013 11:25 pm

I get where you're coming from. I remember a couple of incidents over the years when I thought: "Urgh, did he really ground that ball?". It was the same when I was watching this replay. But remember that this is what the referee does NOT have. He saw a man sliding over the tryline, more or less unchallenged, in clear possession of the ball, about two meters from touch. How would he not ground the ball? There seemed to be no reason to check the grounding in the first place, so no TMO involved, try given.

Can't see how this makes for a "terrible call".

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Feddderico November 11, 2013 12:40 am

YES! It wasn´t try! The lineman is blind!

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AJ_Capote November 10, 2013 3:32 pm

I really don't understand the huge amount of negativity surrounding this performance. Everywhere you look the press are crucifying England - a BBC Sport journo called it plodding and sleep-inducing. It was like England had LOST 31-12 rather than won it! There's no-one better in the world than beating themselves up after a win than England.

I was very happy with the first half. Farrell looked good and solid with distribution, 12Ts and Tomkins were running lines, our forwards were keeping the ball phase by phase and crucially providing QUICK ball time after time. Speed of delivery was key. I think SL disrupted the tempo 2nd half by emptying the bench, taking off players who didn't deserve to be taken off - subbing Dickson after 50 minutes was ridiculous, as was taking off 12Ts for Flood. I think SL was thinking get the players some game time before NZ next week perhaps, as he wasn't subbing on form. Not sure also why he doesn't trust Morgan as a starter, I think he offers more than B Vunipola - both are good number 8s to have.

My team for NZ:

1. Corbisiero
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Launchbury
5. Lawes
6. Wood
7. Robshaw
8. Morgan
9. Dickson
10. Farrell
11. Yarde
12. 12Ts
13. Tomkins
14. Wade
15. Brown

I will agree with the Ashton criticism though - it's clear he is a player out of form, so much so that even the basics are eluding him. I really don't think Saracens are doing him any favours, he really doesn't suit their style of play. I would gamble on Wade next week - as other commentors elsewhere have noted, NZ aren't afraid to put in rookie wingers into big test matches, as they did with Piutau yesterday. Either start Wade, or put Foden in for his defensive nous and introduce Wade on 50-60 minutes with license to roam and blast up the space.

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themull November 10, 2013 4:03 pm

Not being from england I haven't seen a lot of the bad press, and generally you's do seem to beat yourselves up a lot..One negative that i would take from the game if i were English, is the fact that in the second half you seemed to let Arg run at you a lot and have large periods of possession..that's all well and good when your defense stands up but against some of the very best teams in the world openings will be found..

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AJ_Capote November 11, 2013 10:12 am

Definitely. There is a concentration problem with England at the moment. And for half an hour in the 2nd half England were fairly clueless. But pundits in the English press have taken this half an hour and thought it summed up the whole game - forgetting the 50 minutes of good play we did have.

The Telegraph reporter was calling it rubbish and predicting an NZ massacre, one journo on BBC Sport called it 'sleep inducing' and tried to rubbish Argentina as 'that side that got beaten by 70 and 50 points in the Rugby Championship' - showing that he really either doesn't know much about rugby, or did but had an agenda to write to and was determined to stick to it, and hang the facts.

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Ottawa Rugger November 10, 2013 10:22 pm

I've never really understood the negativity that comes from a lot of matches. Methinks it's mostly PR people drumming up hype. I was watching the game and I was enjoying it for the full 80. It only started to appear dull once the commentators started with the hyperbole about how boring it was. Moreover, sometimes I don't think print media journos actually make their minds up about the game, they just re-hash the talking points the commentators brought up, and sometimes in their exact words. A commentator's job should be to enliven the game, not dull it down, IMO

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Rob November 10, 2013 11:51 pm

That last statement couldn't be more true! ... and sadly so far from the current state of affairs. Constant bleating about the referee's calls, negative comments about individual players' abilities and the teams themselves ... I wish they made them like Bill McLaren, and I used to think they didn't exist until I saw high school games on The Rugby Channel, Shute Shield on ABC, and, hell, the guys who call games for Cayman Islands Rugby TV. Get some amateur guys who actually enjoy what's going on out there and have some friendly, positive banter!

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AJ_Capote November 11, 2013 10:09 am

One of the best commentators I've heard around lately is one of the guys doing commentary for the Rugby League World Cup at the moment. Not sure if he's an Ozzie or a Kiwi, but he's absolutely brilliant. So much energy and has great banter with his fellow pundits, particularly Brian Noble. Often he'll start talking about a local pub he went to, or the food on offer in the stadium! He's absolutely brilliant. He'll be honest and blunt, and will call a spade a spade, but will also have fun with it.

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45678 November 11, 2013 8:56 am

Absolutely spot on. For all those people who slate Brian Moore / Stuart Barnes etc, then quote them verbatim on mb

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Juggernauter November 10, 2013 3:52 pm

Surely Ashton must be dropped now? Wnigers are there to finish try scoring opportunities, and he failed two, first he was held up when he could've dived and secured the touchdown, and then he made a ridicoulous sideways dive, sliding off the field before scoring. Only the ref didn't notice it. At times it seems like he does't want to be there, throwing absurd passes and playing with no real passion or intent to put his body on the line. Just the sheer opposite from Fernandez Lobbe, Ashley-Cooper or de Villiers.

Oh and he really can't tackle. I'd drop him and have Wade, Yarde, Foden, Thompstone, Sharples, Strettle et al as wing options.

Of course this is just my opinion. But I'm impressed he keeps playing.

Cheers

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DrG November 10, 2013 6:40 pm

I think your opinion is shared by a few, I feel he's gone into a bit of a one trick pony, his tackling is diabolical considering he's come from a league background and he's not short of a few stone!

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FatProp November 10, 2013 6:49 pm

Yeah he gets chance after chance which is so unfair on every other winger in England. May Varndell Daly nowell are also on that list

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Facepalm November 10, 2013 8:55 pm

Delon Armitage, Jamie Elliott, Kyle Eastmond? So many names seem to pop up.



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AJ_Capote November 11, 2013 10:06 am

Imagine if the try hadn't been given? Would've been on a par with SBW's bombed try vs Samoa in the RL World Cup a few weeks ago. Shocker. Think he was so stunned that he got over the line that he forgot to put the ball down!

Totally agree with you, he's badly lost form. Sometimes coaches need to listen to their players. Ashton himself has said he is lucky not to have been dropped. SL remains in a quandry though, as he was in the Six Nations - he has to get results otherwise the press (and the moron Woodward in particular) will be on his back. He'll be crucified if he bloods players now with championships and Autumn Tests to be won. Which is a shame.

On the other hand I'd argue players like Wade and Yarde were blooded effectively on the summmer Tour to Argentina, so why not run them now? And big Test matches don't stop NZ from putting in rookie wingers like Piutau does it?

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Juggernauter November 11, 2013 1:02 pm

Well apparently noth Wade and Yarde were injured for this match, but I do agree with you. And Woodward - he'll do any thing to keep appearing on the papers haha

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AJ_Capote November 12, 2013 8:20 pm

Yeah, Wade and Yarde are both injured. Really frustrating that so many promising players are falling to niggling injuries. Wade really deserves a Twickenham start this autumn, way more than Ashton at any rate.

Clive is a man I respect and a driven winner, but his statements now are just getting more and more ridiculous.

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dave November 10, 2013 7:13 pm

people are stupid complaining about this game, the pumas are known to match up better to nh style rugby, so don't be upset that england didn't score 50 on the pumas because the pumas aren't italy, they had some tough games in the championship and no doubt they are hardened by them,
for the team next week I think cole, hartley and corbs are the best front row, at one point they got so low in the scrum and destroyed the pumas on that feed, I see the all blacks having a lot of trouble with the england scrum, other than that I think lancaster will keep the pack the same
but for the backline I'd maybe keep the half back pairing, there's no point in making youngs start because he's rusty, and as much as people like to argue he wasn't as good as he was made out to be against the wallabies, there were mulitiple times he messed up a pass trying to be too cute
I think he should take tompkins out and put burrell at 13, tuilagi smashed the ab's last year because of his power and as it is I don't think there's enough power in that midfield
ashton needs to come out, they should put foden on the right wing because he's a pretty solid defender and both of the ab's tries came from their left winger, put yarde back in and keep the team as it is,
I think that's there best starting 15 and if they lose to the all blacks I can live with it because that's their side most capable of beating them imo

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dave November 10, 2013 10:00 pm

I think Hansen is trying to manipulate his team mentally against england
who the hell on england said they were going to score 4 tries?
obviously you want to set that goal for yourself because belief is the first step but no one said that from what I understand, and there's nothing wrong with england setting their sights on second place by beating the All Blacks, I would hope every team in the world would have that goal in the same position, the All Blacks think it's heresy or something for a team to think of beating them, I bet if every team in the world said fuck it to the "omg the all blacks" mentality the kiwis would get beat a lot more

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Ottawa Rugger November 10, 2013 10:26 pm

If I'm honest I don't think there's much England did that poorly. The Puma forward pack and scrum is AB-esque, so matching up to them is no mean feat. And having contained the Wallaby and the Puma backline I don't think the AB backs are going to be such a step up. England just went for a different game plan in the second, opting to smother the Pumas out of the contest. Lancaster will know you beat the All Blacks by taking the game to them. Going by the first half England can do just that.

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joeythelemur November 11, 2013 5:44 pm

"And having contained the Wallaby and the Puma backline I don't think the AB backs are going to be such a step up."

I can't tell if you're being serious. Cory Jane & Piutau with Dagg at fullback aren't a step up? Ben Smith is still an experiment in midfield, and will have some serious questions asked of him across from Tuilagi, but in my opinion, that backline is a significant step up, especially considering their form.

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Hendogo November 10, 2013 10:31 pm

Why is Argentina so bad at tackling? The All Blacks are going to be ten times tougher then Argentina. I don't think England will win, but I do think they will put up a good showing against the worlds number one. England has to really stay discipline on defense it they don't want to get burnt by the Allbacks running game.

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JA13 November 10, 2013 11:13 pm

The press are just nit picking, they got the win didn't they? I'll be keen to see if England manage to get the refs in their pockets again, it may be their only hope.

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45678 November 11, 2013 9:02 am

Nice try. England have been very disciplined under Lancaster. Not just in terms of penalty count, but the defence (bar Ashton) has been pretty good. They got turned over a few times in the Argentina 22 on Saturday in the 2nd half, but apart from that, the discipline has been excellent. You don't need a referee in your pocket if you play smart

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JA13 November 11, 2013 11:44 am

I'm not disputing their defensive improvements. I was referring to "not enough obstruction" and 'not being out when clearly out' scenarios. If it weren't for calls like that England would have faced the Pumas after a loss, I still think they would have won but the confidence of beating one of the big three SH teams wouldn't have been there for this weeks All Blacks clash.

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45678 November 11, 2013 8:35 pm

Don't stress, we've had to cope with critisism from all quarters before an it will carry on. Damned if we do, damned if we don't and obviously the only team in world rugby that gets a lucky bounce. Yeah right

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katman November 11, 2013 9:45 am

Come on, RD, post the SA/Wales highlights. I want to see THAT TRY again.

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Juan November 11, 2013 12:07 pm

England won and they did it well but... wasn´t Ashton in touch when he "scored", was it really "enough" obstruction on Argentinas try attempt by Sanchez?

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Proptime November 11, 2013 12:32 pm

I believe that even though england didn't play poorly it is worth pointing out that they were playing against a sub par Pumas. The Args didn't have Lobbe Hernandez and many more due injuries plus the fact that they changed the managing team due to internal, I would say petty, conflicts.

This isn't an excuse as to why they lost but it may justify their disorganized play during the first half and why they came much better the second time.
Finally I do iggest

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dave November 11, 2013 4:50 pm

so what
england doesn't have mako vunipola, manu tuilagi, brad barritt, christian wade or marland yarde, I don't see what your point is

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Juan November 12, 2013 8:14 am

The difference is that England has a proffesional league and have a much bigger base of players than Argentina (has an amateur league). I much harder for Argentina to cover injured players, for example for the match against England Argentina had 2 amateur players on the bench. Also both some of the French and English clubs don´t aloud Argentina to call more than one players from the same club. This leaves them with less players choices.

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Colombes November 11, 2013 4:11 pm

I won't join the big ashton haters fraternity, a too easy job ;)
but yep, his "try" (he doesn't seem really valid) was at the image of the english performance.

very precise and powerful and the basics during the 1st half,
and quite lazy and "job done" attitude during the 2nd
it will always work vs teams who aren't really armed for the fight.
Argentina had too many injured leaders, and unfortunately argies miss skills in the backs who can match the agressivity of their pack...

But if they begin vs AB's like they finish this match, it will be very trash

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Facepalm November 11, 2013 4:18 pm

If I don't like him I can only imagine how you feel.

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