SALTA, Argentina: Stuart Lancaster’s England ran in four tries as they beat Argentina 32-3 in the first Test in Salta on Saturday.
Winger David Strettle, centre Billy Twelvetrees and back rower Ben Morgan touched down in the first half as England led 25-3 at the break before Billy Vunipola finished it off with a try in the last minute.
The win sets up the chance for Lancaster’s men to make history in Buenos Aires next week as no England side has ever won a series in Argentina 2-0.
Bill Beaumont’s side came closest, winning one and drawing the other in 1981 but England will be firm favourites in the second Test after dominating most of this match.
England’s front row of Joe Marler, Rob Webber and David Wilson dominated the Argentina scrum, Christian Wade was lively on his debut on the wing and Ben Morgan demonstrated his return to fitness with a strong carrying display.
England were out of the blocks quickly with two penalties from fly-half Freddie Burns, who scored 12 points on his first Test start, before David Strettle scored the first try.
The winger stretched over the line on 18 minutes after being put away by centre Jonathan Joseph and eight minutes later Twelvetrees scored the second when he looped around winger Christian Wade after a big carry by number 8 Morgan.
Morgan – who had a big game in the back row – then smashed through the Argentine defence after Wade’s pass and England were firmly in control at 25-0 up before the break.
They were not as clinical in the second half with Twelvetrees missing out on a second try because of a forward pass and Joseph’s poor delivery also denying Strettle a second.
Argentina were much improved after the break, and the game stagnated as the benches were unloaded, and England were down to 14 men for a spell when replacement Courtney Lawes was sin binned on 69 minutes.
Home full-back Martin Bustos Moyano did not help matters when he had two penalty chances to give Argentina some hope in the second half but was wide with both of them.
Vunipola, another replacement, ran through from a scrum in the final play of the match to take England to a convincing win.