ARGENTINA 3, ENGLAND 32
Reuters, SALTA, Argentina
England ran in four tries, including three in an exciting first-half performance, to crush an error-prone Argentina in the first Test in Salta, Argentina, on Saturday.
Flyhalf Freddie Burns kicked 12 points, his only miss an attempted conversion of the opening try by David Strettle that came back off an upright.
Burns punished Pumas infringements with two successful early penalties before an experimental young side without England’s British and Irish Lions found gaps in the Argentina defense with a slick passing game played at a high tempo.
Argentina also fielded a second-string team who played into England hands with an error-prone first half.
A break down the right from nippy wing Christian Wade led to the first try, the move going left and center Jonathan Joseph feeding the last pass to Strettle, who went over in the corner after 18 minutes.
Center Billy Twelvetrees was next to score on the right at the end of an attack involving powerful No. 8 Ben Morgan and Wade, who offloaded the final pass.
Morgan capped a fine game with the third try in the same corner, before Burns added the conversion.
England’s mistakes came almost exclusively from offsides and Pumas fullback Martin Bustos Moyano kicked a penalty on the stroke of halftime to make the score 25-3 after missing three earlier attempts at goal.
Argentina came out determined in the second half and won two penalties in the opening 10 minutes, but Bustos Moyano missed both.
Play evened out and changes to both sides reduced England’s precision, though not their strength.
Replacement No. 8 Billy Vunipola crossed for the fourth try in the final seconds, going over under the posts from the base of a scrum. Burns converted.
US 12, IRELAND 15
AFP, HOUSTON, Texas
Flyhalf Ian Madigan converted five penalties to lead Ireland to a victory over a determined US on Saturday in the first of two North American Tests for the tourists.
The US, ranked 16th in the world, kept it impressively close against ninth-ranked Ireland in the match at BBVA Compass Arena, home of the Houston Dynamo.
The clash drew a crowd of 20,181, a record for a rugby union match in the US.
Fullback Chris Wyles converted four penalties for the hosts, who suffered their second defeat in two weeks after opening their Pacific Nations Cup campaign with a loss to Canada in Edmonton on May 25.
“We’re disappointed,” US coach Mike Tolkin said. “It was right within winning distance.”