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Solomona turns from villain to deliver late heroics for England in Argentina

The league convert had looked suspect for some of England’s concessions, but bounced off tacklers to deliver a dramatic win for Eddie Jones’ side.
Jun 11th 2017, 1:31 AM 7,596 3

REPLACEMENT WING DENNY Solomona scored a 79th-minute try on his debut to give England a thrilling 38-34 triumph over Argentina on Saturday.

The New Zealand-born Rugby League convert cut inside from the touchline near the halfway line, evaded three Pumas and dotted down between the posts.

Source: Darragh Mad Man Dillon/YouTube

The Argentines shrugged off woeful recent form playing as the Jaguares in Super Rugby and came tantalisingly close to a first win over England in seven Tests.  They led 17-13 at half-time and looked set for victory when veteran substitute fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez dropped a goal for a three-point lead with three minutes left.

The first scoring chance of the match fell to star Argentine fly-half Nicolas Sanchez, but his penalty attempt flew right and wide.

His miss was soon forgotten as the Pumas went ahead on eight minutes when a grubber kick from the pivot sent debutant winger Emiliano Boffelli over and the fly-half converted.

George Ford opened the England account by defying prolonged whistling to slot a penalty as the end of the first quarter approached. Play was often scrappy, bordering on chaotic, with lots of turn-overs, many of them steals by England, and plenty of handling errors.

Another Ford penalty on 27 minutes narrowed the gap to one point as a blazing desert sun beat down on the Estadio Bicentenario in the shadow of the Andes mountain range.

Argentina England Rugby Source: AP/PA Images

It was yet another England turn-over that led to them scoring a try and taking the lead for the first time in a western city hosting the Red Roses for the first time.

After a lot of unstructured movement, winger Marland Yarde eluded a diving tackle by prop Enrique Pieretto to score in the corner. Ford converted for a 13-7 lead. But the hosts finished the half strongly and scored 10 unanswered points for a 17-13 half-time advantage before a near-capacity crowd in the 25,000-seat stadium.

The origin of the second Pumas try lay in yet another turn-over and driving play culminated in lock Tomas Lavanini powering over.

Sanchez converted and added a penalty after the half-time hooter to complete a satisfactory first 40 minutes for the 2015 Rugby World Cup semi-finalists.

Argentina found themselves on the back foot as the second half unfolded, however, with quicker rivals turning a four-point deficit into a 23-17 lead.

Ford slotted a penalty to keep his perfect goal-kicking record in the match intact, then converted a brilliantly constructed try that winger Jonny May claimed.

Centre Henry Slade cut inside and delivered a perfectly weighted grubber kick toward the corner that May dotted down.

Argentina then hit back, taking advantage of Solomona’s inexperience, with tries from centre Jeronimo de la Fuente and full-back Joaquin Tuculet.   The second of the tries demonstrated Argentine rugby at its best as they ran the ball from inside their 22 with centre Matias Orlando a key carrier.

A seesaw struggle took another turn as Ford slotted a penalty, then scored a superb solo try which he failed to converted, leaving the sides deadlocked at 31-31 with 14 minutes remaining.

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