Two red cards, three yellows and a 27-14 win for England over Argentina. Here are Pundit Arena’s five biggest talking points from the action at Twickenham.
1. Elliot Daly’s Red Card
Elliot Daly’s challenge on Leonardo Senatore was not malicious, but it was a definite red card. Whilst the Wasps man bears the brunt of the blame for a clumsy, mistimed tackle, his intervention also questions Eddie Jones’ thought process in playing a centre on the wing.
Quite simply, a natural No. 11 would not have got into such a tangle. Yes, it was an unfortunate incident – but no England back, let alone a winger – had ever been sent off before in a test match.
Coming so early into the fixture, Daly’s departure could have proved terminal for England were they not up against a tired Argentina shorn of half a dozen of their best players.
2. Enrique Pieretto Red Card
A cast-iron red card for a stamp on the face of an opponent, but credit the officials for showing the incident through a variety of angles, until it became clear Pieretto’s contact was intentional.
A lengthy ban surely awaits the Pumas prop.
3. England Show Mettle
Challenged more than at any other time, at least at home under Eddie Jones, England managed the game superbly. Despite Daly’s early red, England cruised into a 16-0 lead.
Two Pumas tries either side of the break threatened a serious wobble, but through their forwards England were able to retain their foothold in the contest, and squeeze the Argentines for the final 20 minutes. The bench, particularly Kyle Sinckler, made an important contribution.
4. Facundo Isa Stars
Demoted to the bench, or ‘saved for the final half hour’ – as today’s parlance describes it, Isa was forced on early following Senatore’s injury. In 80 minutes of play, Isa lived up to his billing.
The lead carrier on the field by a distance, the number eight also produced one of the moments of the autumn internationals, when he dummied to kick and sped past Tom Wood.
— ScrumRugby (@ScrumESPN) November 26, 2016
Argentina lost La Plata-born Sergio Parisse, but ten years after the Azurri back-rower started making his name on the world stage, the Pumas have a number eight to shout about.
5. Owen Farrell’s Missed Kicks
A rarity. Two rarities. Three rarities. The usually reliable Owen Farrell missed three relatively straightforward kicks at goal against Argentina. Midway through the second half, it appeared as though they might become costly errors.
Farrell is a world-class kicker, but it’s worth remembering that – as happened to Leigh Halfpenny against Australia – even the best can have an off day.
Daniel Rey, Pundit Arena
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