Mon, Jun 08, 2009 - Page 19 News List

England lurches past Argentina

REUTERS , MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

England’s Andy Goode kicks a penalty against Argentina during their international rugby union match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Saturday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

England defeated Argentina 37-15 at Old Trafford on Saturday with a performance high on efficiency but lacking in flair.

A healthy crowd of 40,000 did their best to enliven matters, but the game was dominated by the boot with Andy Goode kicking 22 points with exciting running rugby at a premium.

“We had to be patient at times and take our points and try and build a good win,” England head coach Martin Johnson told reporters when defending England’s conservative approach.

“When you have shots at goal against Argentina you have to take them. You’ve got to score points and that’s the name of the game,” Johnson said. “Andy Goode kept his composure very well. It’s not nice when people are whistling you but you have to win the test match.”

Argentina took an early lead courtesy of a drop-goal from Juan Martin Hernandez before Goode kicked a regulation penalty after eight minutes to restore parity.

It was an indicator of what was to come as both number 10s looked to dominate the match.

A Goode drop-goal then gave England a 6-3 lead before another penalty and a converted try from debutant Matt Banahan stretched England’s advantage to 16-3.

Banahan’s effort finally lit up the encounter and came courtesy of fine handling work by the English backs.

Just before the break, Goode kicked another drop-goal and Hernandez added two penalties from straight in front as the first half ended 19-9.

■WALES V US

AFP, CHICAGO

Jonathan Davies scored two tries and Nick Robinson was deadly with passes and kicks on Saturday, sparking Wales to a 48-15 victory over the US in an international rugby union friendly. The victory completed a strong North American tour for the Welsh, who beat Canada 32-23 last week at Toronto.

“It was a good win in the end,” Robinson said. “It has been a good tour for us. We’ll have a good time tonight for sure.”

Robinson struck on a pair of penalty kicks before Gavin DeBartolo answered for the Americans with a long conversion, pulling the hosts within 6-3.

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