England secured third place at the 2023 Rugby World Cup with a 26 – 23 victory over Argentina at the Stade de France this evening.
In a back and forth contest, England at points looked like pulling away only to be reeled back in by Los Pumas.
Getting out to a 13 – 0 lead within thirteen minutes courtesy of a Ben Earl try and Owen Farrell kicks.
Argentina would score next to get a foothold in the game in the 23rd minute as Emiliano Boffelli knocked over a penalty.
England would strike back to offset this score through Farrell six minutes later in the 29th minute.
Six minutes would begin to become a theme as Los Pumas scored a try in the 35th minute to stay within touching distance at half-time 16 – 10.
Argentina would start the second half with a bang as Santiago Carreras raced away for a try within the opening two minutes which with the conversion gave Los Pumas their first lead.
Their joy would short lived England would score one minute later through hooker Theo Dan to regain the lead.
Nicholas Sanchez and Owen Farrell would trade penalties in the remaining time as England secured the victory.
Speaking post match Farrell said, “The back of another six-day turnaround and a narrow loss last week, it was great to win tonight.
“You have to be able to play rugby a few ways and we are developing that and hopefully it will keep improving. I know we will improve. But proud of the effort the lads have put in.”
Discussing his retiring teammates Courtney Lawes and Ben Youngs, Farrell said, “It takes a lot of games and a lot of work to stay around this team for that long.”
For his part Youngs spoke passionately about his time in the white shirt saying, “I am delighted for the boys we got the result.
“It was a huge effort last week and then we were fast out of the blocks, we found a rhythm and found a way. We are pleased to end with a win. We wanted to be here tomorrow night, but it is still a nice win tonight.”
On it being his last England performance: “The game has given me so much. I have got huge friendships and bonds not just in this England team, but people I have played against for years.
“I have a bucketload of memories and I am very grateful, so thank you everyone.
“I will have a beer and enjoy myself with the boys tonight.”
Argentina: 15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Lucio Cinti, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Pedro Rubiolo, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Francisco Gómez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (c), 1 Thomas Gallo
Replacements: 16 Agustín Creevy, 17 Joel Sclavi, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Rodrigo Bruni, 21 Lautaro Bazan Velez, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 23 Matías Moroni
England: 15 Marcus Smith, 14 Freddie Steward, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Henry Arundell, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Theo Dan, 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Bevan Rodd, 18 Dan Cole, 19 David Ribbans, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Danny Care, 22 George Ford, 23 Ollie Lawrence