England Routs Argentina in Rugby Test; All Blacks Beat FranceBob Bensch
The England rugby team opened its two-Test series in Argentina with a 32-3 rout of the Pumas, as New Zealand defeated France 23-13 in a rematch of the 2011 World Cup final.
David Strettle, Billy Twelvetrees, Ben Morgan and Billy Vunipola touched down as England outscored Argentina four tries to none in Salta. Freddie Burns kicked 12 points for the visitors.
Burns booted a pair of penalties and Strettle touched down to give England an 11-0 lead after 18 minutes. Twelvetrees and Morgan went over, with Burns converting both, to push the lead to 25-0. Bustos Moyano then put Argentina on the scoreboard with a penalty on the last kick of the first half.
Moyano missed two penalties early in the second half, drawing jeers from the home crowd, and Twelvetrees had a second try disallowed by a forward pass. England’s Courtney Lawes was sin-binned in the 69th minute, but Argentina couldn’t take advantage. Vunipola’s converted try in the final seconds then closed the scoring.
The teams conclude their series June 15 in Buenos Aires.
Aaron Smith and Sam Cane scored first-half tries to help top-ranked New Zealand beat France in the opener of a three-Test series at Auckland’s Eden Park. Aaron Cruden kicked two second-half penalties to seal the victory after France pulled within four points.
The French went ahead on Wesley Fofana’s converted try and New Zealand took until the 23rd minute to score its first points with a penalty from Cruden. The All Blacks took a 10-8 lead 10 minutes later when Smith ran in a try that Cruden converted.
Maxime Machenaud’s penalty made it 10-10 before Cane scored the All Blacks’ second try just before halftime. After Camille Lopez pulled France within four points with a penalty, Cruden gave the All Blacks a 10-point lead they never relinquished.
The teams meet again June 15 in Christchurch before the series finale in New Plymouth a week later. New Zealand beat France 8-7 in the World Cup final two years ago.
Host South Africa beat Italy 44-10 and Samoa defeated Scotland 27-17 in the opening round of a four-team tournament in Durban.
Adriaan Strauss, JJ Engelbrecht, Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers and Bjorn Basson scored tries in South Africa’s rout, while Alesana Tuilagi touched down twice as Samoa beat Scotland for the first time in nine all-time meetings.
Samoa meets Italy and South Africa plays Scotland in the second round of games on June 15.
Wales earlier beat Japan 22-18 in the opener of their two-game series in Osaka. The home team, which outscored the Six Nation champion by two tries to one, missed three kicks at goal.