Stuttering England beat Argentina 21-8

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    England have got their November international series off to a victorious but hardly glorious start after forcing their way past Argentina 21-8 at Twickenham in a stuttering game with barely any flowing rugby.

    Argentina came into the match having won only one game all year – against Georgia – and, not helped by missing five of six shots at goal, they never looked remotely like avoiding a fourth loss in 13 months to England, who they will meet again in the pool stage of the 2019 World Cup.

    England led 14-3 at the break with a try by No.8 Nathan Hughes but the scoreboard did not move again until the last 20 minutes when Semesa Rokoduguni stretched England’s lead.

    The crowd sat back to await more home tries but instead it was Nicolas Sanchez who had the final word with a try to finish off a sustained period of Pumas pressure.

    Captain Dylan Hartley admitted there was plenty to work on after one of England’s poorest performances under Eddie Jones.

    “A win’s the main thing today,” he told Sky Sports. There’s so much more to get better at.

    “Defensively we obviously wanted to keep a clean sheet, so obviously disappointed with conceding at any stage of the game. So there’s obviously stuff to work on.

    “Ball in hand I think we just need to get in the right areas of the field and then treasure the ball. Too many times the ball ended up in touch, the ball was a bit greasy, knocked it on. Ball retention is certainly something to focus on going forward.

    “We certainly need to go up a level. In terms of the team, it’s the start of our international season. The team coming together, gelling … we were a little bit rusty. We’re going to have to work hard and get better for next week.”

    England host the Wallabies at Twickenham on Saturday.

    © AAP 2017