England 39-10 Argentina: Rugby World Cup match report, highlights and scorers

England's wing Jack Nowell (second left) celebrates his try
England's wing Jack Nowell (second left) celebrates his try

England capitalised on Tomas Lavanini's dismissal to secure their place in the World Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable 39-10 victory over Argentina at Tokyo Stadium.

England 39-10 Argentina

England tries: May, Daly, Youngs, Ford, Nowell, Cowan-Dickie
England conversions: Farrell (2)
England penalties: Farrell

Argentina tries: Moroni
Argentina conversions: Boffelli
Argentina penalties: Urdapilleta


Match report

England capitalised on Tomas Lavanini's dismissal to secure their place in the World Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable 39-10 victory over Argentina at Tokyo Stadium.

The Pumas were forced to play 63 minutes with only 14 men after Lavanini was sent off by referee Nigel Owens for a high challenge in which he struck Owen Farrell's jaw with his shoulder.

It was the fifth red card of a tournament that is being played against the backdrop of World Rugby's crackdown on dangerous tackles and the second in which Farrell was the victim following the dismissal of the USA's John Quill in similar circumstances.

After showing early signs of using the setback to mount meaningful resistance, Argentina fell away as England attacked with width, Jonny May and Elliot Daly helping themselves to tries.

When the superb George Ford raced over shortly after half-time it was all over for the Pumas, who are effectively out of the World Cup after suffering a second defeat in Pool C.

A cloud hung over England's most impressive victory in Japan, however, after bulldozing number eight Billy Vunipola failed to appear for the second half due to concerns over his left ankle.

Tom Curry moved from blindside flanker to cover and the tenacious Lewis Ludlam stepped off the bench to bring renewed energy, while there were comebacks for Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell - who made their first appearances at Japan 2019.

Nowell marked his first outing since starring at last season's Premiership final with a trademark tackle-busting try to put his ankle and appendix issues firmly behind him.

Questions will be asked why Farrell was not sent for an HIA after being flattened by Lavanini and the Saracens centre endured a wretched afternoon from the kicking tee, missing his first four attempts at goal before successfully adjusting his sights.

England have now won their last 10 meetings with Argentina, whose noisy and colourful fans cheered wildly as they made a swashbuckling start in pursuit of the upset that would keep their own quarter-final hopes alive.

Matias Moroni was the source of the first dangerous moment as turnover ball was fed to their little wing and he raced into space, only for May to win the chase for his chip ahead.

Pumas pressure was ramped up as Santiago Carreras was stopped just short of the left corner but once Benjamin Urdapilleta had landed a penalty, England responded when a driving maul provided the platform for Ford to send May over.

In a worrying sign for Argentina, Ford had expertly exploited a two-on-two attack and their concern escalated when they were driven backwards at a scrum.

Captain Pablo Matera was warned by Owens for a late tackle on Ben Youngs which incensed his former Leicester team-mate and sparked a large brawl.

Lavanini was not so lucky, however, as his high tackle on Farrell - in which he failed to wrap his arms around the Lion - was inevitably punished by a red card.

The drama deepened as Manu Tuilagi was sanctioned with only a penalty when taking out Emiliano Boffelli - but Argentina seemed inspired by the odds tilting against them.

Instead of wilting, they repeatedly attacked England with high energy but Eddie Jones' men were happy to soak up the pressure knowing they would soon capitalise on tiring legs.

That moment came earlier than expected when successive carries by May followed by a forward barrage on the line created space for Daly to score before Youngs scampered over in first-half added-time.

Five minutes after the interval and Argentina seemed a spent force as Tuilagi took a hard line into heavy traffic, opening a gap through which Ford accelerated to touch down.

England had emptied their bench and taken their foot off the pedal. Ford's intervention was their only score until Nowell crossed almost half an hour later, with a Moroni touchdown dividing their tries.

But Jones' men finished with a flourish when Luke Cowan-Dickie was swept over by a driving line-out and Farrell converted.


Match reaction

Owen Farrell dismissed concern for his wellbeing after he was the victim of a dangerous tackle to the head in England's 39-10 victory over Argentina at Tokyo Stadium.

Eddie Jones' men became the first team to secure their place in the World Cup quarter-finals after posting a third-successive bonus-point win that cements their position at the summit of Pool C.

The match turned when lock Tomas Lavanini became the fifth player to be sent off at Japan 2019 after he caught Farrell on the jaw with his shoulder in the 18th minute.

Nine days earlier Farrell was the victim of a similar challenge by the USA's John Quill, who was also shown a red card.

Farrell was treated by a medic on the pitch but alarm has been raised that he was not sent for a head injury assessment (HIA).

"I feel fine. It's obviously concussion that's the worry but I didn't get hit anywhere near the top of the head," England's captain said.

"Maybe your jaw gets a bit sore but I was fine and there was no need for a HIA."

The illegal tackle on Farrell ignited one of several flashpoints in a feisty encounter.

"I probably wouldn't call them fights! There was a lot of stuff off the ball. It's not something we want to get caught up in but we tried to look after our players," Farrell said.

A comfortable victory was marred by Billy Vunipola's ankle injury that meant the number eight was unable to appear for the second half.

Jones confirmed that the joint had been twisted, adding: "We don't think it's too serious."

A report emerged overnight that Jones was hoping to attend the funeral of his Randwick mentor Jeff Sayle, which takes place in Australia on the eve of next weekend's climax to Pool C against France.

The flight from Tokyo to Sydney takes nine-and-a-half hours and England's head coach admitted the logistics involved makes it unlikely he would be present.

"Unless the RFU hire a concord for me, it'll be quite difficult to go," Jones said.

"I'm negotiating with BA, concord and the RFU to see what we can do. Obviously I'd like to go but I've got a lot of responsibility here. I'm conscious of that.

"The travel makes it difficult so I doubt very much that I'll be going, as much as I'd like to."

England will face Wales or Australia in the quarter-finals depending on the outcome of their clash with France.

"We're just worried about France next week. It's qualification for the quarter-finals but the emphasis is just about getting better for the next game," Jones said.

"When Argentina went down to 14 men, they possibly had a psychological lift and it's human nature that we dropped off a little bit because you think you're going to win the game.

"I was really pleased with how the players came back in the second half and dominated. If you'd have said we'd have 15 points after three games, we'd be pretty happy."

Argentina coach Mario Ledesma admitted Lavanini's dismissal was justified as he counted the cost of a result that effectively dumps the Pumas out of the World Cup.

"It had a big impact because it was early in the game and I thought it was fair. We lost some power in the forwards and that's why we had a very difficult game," Ledesma said.

Match highlights

England vs Argentina (39-10) | Rugby World Cup 2019 Highlights

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