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England comfortable winners in Salta

Christian Wade delivered an eye-catching debut performance as England's young guns routed Argentina 32-3 to give Stuart Lancaster an exciting glimpse into the future.

Wade was at the heart of a thrilling attacking performance in the opening 40 minutes and he was involved in the first three tries - scored by David Strettle, Billy Twelvetrees and Ben Morgan - as England stormed into a commanding lead.

Argentina tested England's defensive resolve in the second half and Courtney Lawes was sent to the sin-bin for a breakdown offence but Billy Vunipola wrapped up the victory with a try in the last minute.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster had challenged his young touring brigade to use this Test series as an opportunity to put the pressure on those with their feet up. They took it emphatically. Argentina, captained by the experienced centre Felipe Contepomi, were in a similar position to England with the majority of their senior players being rested for the Rugby Championship.

Freddie Burns landed two early penalties from distance as England began to dominate the forward exchanges and take control of the scrums and lineouts. Wade had a hand in all three tries as England surged into a 25-0 lead after 33 minutes but the first try began with hooker Rob Webber securing a turnover on his own line.

Burns cleared, Dave Attwood stole the lineout and the first searing run of Wade's Test career cut the Pumas open and Strettle stretched to score in the corner after being set up by Jonathan Joseph.

Morgan was at the heart of everything England did well and his bullocking charge deep into the Pumas 22 set the platform, and Wade executed a delightfully delayed pass to send Twelvetrees over for his second Test try. Burns hit the post with his first conversion but made no mistake with his second and England continued to punish Pumas mistakes.

It was only a matter of time before England engineered a third try and it was scored, fittingly, by Morgan who crashed over in the corner after being released down the right by the quick hands of Twelvetrees, Joseph and Wade.

Martin Bustos Moyana kicked a penalty for Argentina on the stroke of half-time and the interval came as a blessed relief for the Pumas, because it checked England's momentum. In the second half, England were pressed into long periods of defence and responded with an organised and largely disciplined display, barring the sin-binning of Lawes shortly after he had come on for Attwood.

Strettle wasted a chance to score his second try of the match when he juggled and dropped a pass from Kyle Eastmond, who made an impact after coming on for his Test debut. But England finished strongly with Vunipola marking his own Test debut with a last-minute try after picking up from the back of an England scrum that was marching forward.


From Belfast Telegraph