Special envoy to Marseille
Who would have bet on an England team at this level? Disappointing results in 2023, disappointment against Fiji in the last preparation match, the XV de la Rose did not breathe serenity before starting its World Cup against Argentina, this Saturday in Marseille. But Steve Borthwick's men woke up at the best of times to inflict a crushing defeat on the Pumas (27-10). However, they were reduced to 14 in the 3rd minute of play.
In front of stands still sparse, many supporters having experienced difficulties in accessing the Vélodrome stadium, the start of the match was marked by two early yellow cards distributed to Tom Curry and Santiago Carreras. The first for a contact to the head, the second for a percussion on a player in the air. The consequences were very different. That of Tom Curry turned red, while Santiago Carreras was able to find his partners under the bronca of Vélodrome.
Ford scores three drops
In numerical superiority, the Pumas were enterprising but rough, like this missed opportunity one meter from the line (23rd) or this kick directly into touch with Mateo Carreras (26th). Opposite, England bravely played their luck and made their incursions a reality with not one, not two, but three drops from George Ford (27th, 31st, 37th). Scoring 27 points in total, Sale's opener was awarded the man of the match trophy.
English pragmatism would almost make us forget the big opportunity wasted by three-quarters of XV de la Rose in the 32nd minute, when the gap was made. Wishing to imitate his vis-à-vis, Santiago Carreras also tried his hand at the exercise of the drop… Missed (34th). A symbol of the feeling of helplessness that then reigned in the Argentine ranks. The two teams finally returned to the locker room with a 12-3 advantage for the English.
In the second half, the XV de la Rose never slowed down, only conceding their first penalty in the 71st minute. Carried by the multiple Swing Low, Swing Chariot launched by a conquered English public, George Ford investigated the points with the foot, penalty after penalty. Unable to break through the black curtain and far too punished in defense, the Argentines went through this second act like ghosts. And the supporters in striped shirts were numerous to leave the stands well before the end of the meeting. They could not attend the late try of Rodrigo Bruni (80th), the only one of the match. Very insufficient.
With this success full of control, England sends a strong signal. To the other teams in Pool D first. Then to the competition favorites. Finalists of the 2019 edition, the English could well play the spoilsports again.