Luke McLean, Lorenzo Cittadini and debutant Tommaso Allan crossed for Italy’s tries.
The All Blacks visit Twickenham next and assessing England’s form going into that match is proving tricky.
Following an inconsistent 20-13 win over Australia, Stuart Lancaster’s side were excellent in the first half against Argentina. Joe Launchbury, Billy Twelvetrees and Chris Ashton scored tries to set up a potential thrashing of a team that came to London with a new coach and off the back of six straight losses in the Rugby Championship.
However, there were errors aplenty after the interval by England and the Pumas threatened to get back into the match through Nicolas Sanchez’s penalties, only for replacement No. 8 Ben Morgan to crash through for a clinching fourth England try in the 78th minute.
“Second half, we were a bit loose and it wasn’t good enough overall, but I would have taken that scoreline this morning,” Lancaster said. “We’ve got to get that consistency for 80 minutes.”
Samoa had the opportunity to climb to an all-time high of fifth in the world rankings by beating Ireland, but the islanders’ injury-plagued side was dispatched in a record win in the fixture.
Ireland only led 14-6 at halftime thanks to Peter O’Mahony’s try, but ran away with it in the final 40 minutes, with Sean O’Brien, Dave Kearney (two) and Fergus McFadden grabbing tries.