England overpower Pumas in spiteful encounter
England overpower Pumas in spiteful encounterSHARE
The teams scored two tries each in a spiteful encounter – which produced six cards, four yellow and two red.
Both teams were down to 13 men at some stage.
Elliot Daly became the first England back to be red-carded in their history (in the fourth minute), while Argentina had replacement prop Enrique Pieretto dismissed for stamping.
Matias Orlando (29th minute), Dan Cole (40th), Pablo Matera (67th) and Marler (76th) all spent time in the sin bin for various offences.
A fiercely contested and brutal contest saw England delighted with their latest victory, which is the third of the year-end series having overcome South Africa and Fiji already.
The Wasps wing Daly was shown a red card for dangerously taking Argentina No.8 Leonardo Senatore out in mid-air and sending the forward crashing painfully down to the turf after just four minutes of the Test.
French referee Pascal Gauzere had little option but to dismiss Daly for the offence, albeit more clumsy than malicious, due to the nature of the incident.
Flank Lewis Moody was the last England player to be shown a red card against Samoa in 2005. He is also only the fifth Englishman in Tests in a list which also includes Mike Burton, Danny Grewcock and Simon Shaw.
A penalty try and Jonny May's score at the end saw the hosts end Argentina's hopes of finishing their dismal year on a high. Owen Farrell kicked 17 points to cap the win.
Scrumhalf Ben Youngs insisted: "It was a blow to lose Elliot so early and we had to battle and keep our discipline from then on.
"It's fantastic to go the year unbeaten and shows how far we have gone in the last 12 months. We are learning all the time and it's an exciting time to be an England player. We want to make history."
Farrell kicked an early penalty from in front of the posts but then disaster struck for England with the Daly sending off.
Farrell replied with a second penalty and there was more controversy when Pumas wing Juan Pablo Estelles was involved in a similar incident, tackling England's May in mid-air as he jumped to catch the ball.
It certainly was not as dangerous a tackle and again it was an awkward tap from Estelles which knocked his rival to the ground. Gauzere quite rightly awarded England a penalty.
The Pumas lament grew further as they turned over the ball inside their own 22, and England being awarded a penalty try. Matias Orlando stretched out a desperate arm and deliberately knocked the ball on as Tom Wood waited outside him to catch Chris Robshaw's pass.
He denied England a potential try with the hosts just a few feet from the line, and Gauzere had little option but to signal a try and send the Puma's offender to the sin bin.
The Pumas' pack forced England back towards their own line and Gauzere reduced England to 13 men for 10 minutes with tighthead Dan Cole being shown a yellow card for collapsing a scrum.
Argentina followed up with another strong set-piece and the ball was picked up by replacement forward Facundo Isa crashing over for his side's first try, converted by Juan Martin Hernández.
Their second came shortly into the second half, as a 13-man England defence was stretched open by quick Argentine handling, and it was fullback Santiago Cordero who ran over the line close to the posts for Hernández to add the extras and reduce the home side's lead to two points.
Cole returned to the action to the relief of the home fans and his struggling team-mates, while England removed captain Dylan Hartley with Jamie George coming on.
Farrell's boot made Argentina's indiscipline pay with another penalty. He missed his next chance but stretched the lead to eight points with his fifth successful penalty. The visitors' hopes of a fightback faded with another yellow card, this time to flanker Pablo Matera.
Farrell missed another penalty but a swift England move across to the left wing put May clear and in for the decisive try.
Tries:Penalty try, May
Pens: Farrell 5
Cons: Hernández 2
Yellow cards: Matias Orlando (Argentina, 29 – professional foul, slapping the ball down), Dan Cole (England, 40 – repeated infringements, collapsed scrums), Pablo Matera (Argentina, 67 – repeat infringements, illegally collapsing the maul), Joe Marler, England, 76 – professional foul, holding an opponent off the ball)
Red cards: Elliot Daly (England, 5 – foul play, dangerous tackle), Santiago Garcia Botta (Argentina, 76 – foul play, stomping an opponent in the face)
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Jonny May, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Kruis, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Danny Care, 22 Ben Te'o, 23 Henry Slade.
Argentina: 15 Santiago Cordero, 14 Matías Orlando, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Santiago González Iglesias, 11 Juan Pablo Estelles, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Lucas Noguera.
Replacement: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Facundo Isa, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Tomás Cubelli,22 Jerónimo De la Fuente, 23 Gabriel Ascarate.
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant referees: Marius Mitrea (Italy), Ian Davies (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)
Agence France-Presse & @rugby365com
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