Autumn Nations Series: Brilliant Argentina stun England at Twickenham for historic win

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Michael Cheika’s Argentina produced a superb second half display to overcome England 30-29 at Twickenham on Sunday.

In a season where they have already beaten New Zealand for the first time away from home, they secured another historic win by edging past Eddie Jones’ men.

Replicating their victory at Twickenham 16 years ago, which spelled the end of Andy Robinson’s tenure as England head coach, they once again came to the ‘home of rugby’ and emerged victorious.

Los Pumas were thankful to Emiliano Boffelli in the opening period, who kicked four three-pointers in an error-strewn first 40 minutes, as they went in just 16-12 behind at the break.

Joe Cokanasiga touched down for the Red Rose and Owen Farrell added three penalties, but the hosts failed to build on that at the start of the second period.

Tries from Boffelli and Santiago Carreras helped the visitors into a 24-16 advantage before Jack van Poortvliet replied for the home side.

The respective kickers then traded penalties, leaving Argentina just one point in front with 10 minutes remaining, but they showed outstanding maturity to run down the clock and go away with a momentous win.

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Heavy rain through the morning took its toll on the spectacle, making handling treacherous early on, but England were also guilty of snatching at their passes.

Drizzle gave way to bright sunshine as debutant second row Alex Coles made an off-the-ball tackle and then dropped a restart, helping Boffelli kick Argentina into the lead.

For the first time England launched Manu Tuilagi and Cokanasiga, forcing the Pumas defence to scramble, and their reward was a sustained spell of pressure spearheaded by the scrum.

Pinned on their line, Argentina were ahead on the scoreboard only but even that was shattered in the 25th minute when Cokanasiga used his strength to crash over the line after being picked out by Ben Youngs.

Boffelli kept the Pumas in the hunt with another successful kick but their visits into the home half were rare in a match that was struggling to get out of first gear and, to illustrate the point, Farrell and the goalkicking wing exchanged penalties.

Burst into life

Six minutes into the second-half Argentina burst into life, executing a pinpoint backs move off a scrum that saw Boffelli slide over in the corner.

Stung by the score, England attacked through Cokanasiga and Marcus Smith but the energy was sucked out of the move and then disaster struck when Farrell’s pass to Billy Vunipola landed on the floor.

Farrell stuck his arm up in claim of a Pumas knock-on but no offence was spotted by the TMO and so Carreras’ try was allowed to stand.

With no one at home around the breakdown for Argentina, Van Poortvliet showed his wits to score an opportunist touch down that made England breath a little easier.

But Farrell and Boffelli resumed trading penalties that meant Argentina led 30-29 heading into the decisive phase of the game.

England were pegged back deep in their own half and, as the clock ran down, they launched a do or die attack that was snuffed out on the halfway line, allowing the Pumas to celebrate victory.

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