Rugby - England secure historic series win in Argentina

Marland Yarde marked his international debut with two tries as England stormed to a seven-try 51-26 victory and their first ever Test series clean sweep in Argentina.

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Rugby - England secure historic series win in Argentina
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England's Marland Yarde (R) dives to score a try followed by Argentina's Martin Garcia Veiga during their second rugby union international Test match in Buenos Aires (Reuters)

Kyle Eastmond, making his first England start, touched down for a dazzling solo score and there were also maiden Test tries for fly-half Freddie Burns and hooker Rob Webber.

England's victory was founded on some shuddering defence and a dominant scrummaging display - epitomised by man of the match Joe Marler - towards the end of the first half, which earned them two penalty tries.

It took Stuart Lancaster's men some time to adjust to Argentina's intensity, particularly at the breakdown, and the Pumas led 12-6 before the England pack took control.

Argentina muscled their way over for two tries after the interval, scored by Manuel Montero and Tomas Leonardi, but England were quickly out of sight and celebrating a 2-0 series win.

England had been forced into a change just hours before kick-off when Christian Wade was called up by the British and Irish Lions, opening the way for Jonny May to make his debut on the right wing.

Yarde took over from David Strettle to win his first cap on the left wing and Eastmond was given his first Test start in midfield in place of Billy Twelvetrees, who was summoned to Australia by the Lions on Wednesday.

Last weekend, England's forward dominance led to a first-half blitz the Pumas as they romped to a 32-3 victory in Salta but Argentina had learned their lesson.

They attacked England around the fringes, playing tight and with intensity and the visitors lost the breakdown battle in the first quarter.

Martin Bustos Moyano, who had kicked so poorly in Salta, opened a 12-6 lead for the hosts but the game turned England's way when Eastmond tackled the Pumas full-back over his own try-line.

England drove the Puma scrum backwards and referee Nigel Owens awarded the penalty try, with Marler receiving the congratulations of his team-mates. Burns' conversion edged England ahead for the first time.

Matt Kvesic thought he had touched down for a second try but television official Shaun Vledsman spotted a knock-on earlier in the move and chalked it off.

It was not long before England did have their second try, with Burns stretching for the line after their most fluid attack of the half and some incisive build-up play down the right from Eastmond and Yarde.

England piled forward again, hunting a third try before the interval. Bustos Moyano was sin-binned for diving in off his feet at a ruck five metres out.

Captain Tom Wood called for the scrum, the England set piece sent Argentina into reverse gear again - and referee Owens marched under the posts for a second time.

Argentina knew they could not break down England's shuddering defensive system so threw their heavy ball-carriers at the men in purple, grinding out the yards with a series of strong pick-and-goes until Montero charged over to score.

For a moment, the Puma support hoped for a comeback. But those ambitions were shredded as England scored three tries in 10 minutes and Yarde began to grow in influence.

The London Irish wing led an England counter-attack and Webber was on hand to charge over the line. Yarde then took centre stage with a delightful finish out wide, beating two defenders before finishing with a Chris Ashton-style swallow dive.

England were now in complete control and Eastmond ran in their sixth try, dancing through the Pumas defence and beating at least three defenders to score under the posts.

After suffering that three-try salvo, Argentina battered their way through England's defence again and Leonardi burrowed his way over.

But England and Yarde had the final say. Stephen Myler, on for his debut, orchestrated a slick backs move and Eastmond's inside ball sent Yarde searing through a gap for his second try.

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