Saturday clash at Stade de Marseille, England’s fly-half, George Ford, was the sole point-scorer for his team as they triumphed over Argentina 27-10, despite spending most of the match with only 14 players on the field.
The trouble began early in the Pool D match when England’s flanker, Tom Curry, received a yellow card, which was later upgraded to a red card following a review due to a head clash with Argentina’s full-back, Juan Cruz Mallia, just three minutes into the game.
Nevertheless, George Ford exhibited his prowess by nailing six penalties and three drop goals, paving the way for a significant statement by Steve Borthwick’s side at the Rugby World Cup 2023 held in Marseille.
George Ford, honored as the Mastercard Player of the Match, commended the England forward pack for their role in creating favorable field positions, enabling him to execute his drop goals effectively. He acknowledged that these drop goals had always been a strategic component of their game plan, stating, “It’s always planned. It’s a great weapon for us, especially when the ball’s a bit greasy. We went a man down early on, and we had to come away with as many points as possible when we had field position. We managed to do that.”
Courtney Lawes, England’s flanker, also lauded the relentless efforts of the forward players, such as Dan Cole, Ellis Genge, and Jamie George, who formed the backbone of their performance. He remarked, “Coley (Dan Cole) and Gengey (Ellis Genge) and Jinksy (Jamie George), the front three, were unbelievable. They truly were the cornerstone of our game today, winning numerous penalties, which translated into territory and points—essentially securing our victory.”
On the other side, Argentina’s head coach, Michael Cheika, expressed his frustration over his team’s inability to capitalize on their numerical advantage. He lamented the frequent stoppages in play, emphasizing that England executed their game plan effectively to put Argentina in a difficult position. Cheika noted, “There was almost no continuous play. There were so many interruptions. The limited play we did have, we didn’t execute very well. This was orchestrated by the opposition team, and they executed it masterfully. They cornered us effectively. Pretty much everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. I believe we allowed the game to become too fragmented and disjointed. England adapted well to the circumstances, and they deserve full credit for their performance.