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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 November 2006, 16:21 GMT
England 18-25 Argentina
Argentina's Federico Todeschini (right) celebrates his crucial try
Todeschini (right) scored 22 points in Argentina's famous win

England: (10) 18
Tries: Sackey, Balshaw
Cons: Hodgson
Pen: Hodgson, Flood

Argentina: (9) 25
Try: Todeschini
Con: Todeschini
Pens: Contepomi, Todeschini 5

England equalled their worst ever run of results, crashing to their seventh consecutive Test defeat in an error-strewn display against Argentina.

Paul Sackey's try helped England to a narrow 10-9 lead at the break, but England looked far from convincing.

Federico Todeschini kept the scoreboard ticking over for Argentina with his penalties and also raced in for an interception try as England toiled.

Iain Balshaw scored from long-range, but Argentina did enough to hold on.

For all the pre-match talk about results and performances, England produced neither in a desperately disappointing display which must further increase the pressure on head coach Andy Robinson.

Argentina's ferocious pack made a mess of England's first scrum and scragged scrum-half Shaun Perry at the base - the first of several times the scrum-half found himself caught in possession.

Hodgson's well-struck penalty gave England the lead, but the errors soon began to pile up for his side.

England winger Paul Sackey
Sackey grabbed his first England try in the first half

Argentina's Felipe Contepomi levelled the scores within four minutes, slotting a simple kick from in front of the posts after England strayed offside in midfield.

A straightforward up-and-under was knocked on by Ben Cohen, while Hodgson put his 22m restart out on the full as England struggled to find any kind of rhythm or structure.

With the sense of frustration palpable among the Twickenham crowd, England finally began to up their tempo.

From quick ball on the left, the ball flowed through the hands of Anthony Allen and Hodgson before finding its way to Sackey in space, and the winger produced an excellent finish to beat three players on the way to the line.

Hodgson added the extras to put England 10-3 up.

If the Twickenham fans thought that would be the prelude to the stroll they used to be accustomed to, they were to be disappointed as Argentina's no-nonsense approach kept England pegged in their own half.

A dreadful attempted clearing kick from Perry went straight up and straight back down again, and Todeschini cut the gap from the subsequent penalty.

With time running out, Todeschini struck again from wide on the left to send Argentina into the half-time break with a spring in their steps.

England fly-half Charlie Hodgson
Hodgson's substitution was cheered by the Twickenham crowd

That spring lasted into the start of the second half as Argentina started much the better, and took a deserved lead on 43 minutes through another Todeschini kick.

With England attempting to force the pace, the mistakes kept coming and it was no surprise when Perry was hauled off for Peter Richards after 47 minutes.

Worse was to follow, though, as Hodgson - straight after missing touch with an easy penalty - was also substituted to the cheers of an unhappy crowd.

Hodgson's replacement Toby Flood, making his Test debut, made an inauspicious start as he threw an inaccurate pass which Todeschini intercepted before racing 70m to score.


England were staring down the barrel and they again started to force the issue, with a Flood penalty bringing his side closer.

Balshaw turned on the style on 61 minutes, racing in from inside his own half to move to within a point at 18-19, only for Flood to miss the conversion.

England continued to throw in unforced errors, and Todeschini was happy to oblige with two more penalties.

The home side threw everything into the last 10 minutes, but basic errors let them down at crucial moments before the final whistle was sounded to a chorus of boos.

England: I Balshaw (Gloucester); P Sackey (Wasps), J Noon (Newcastle), A Allen (Gloucester), B Cohen (Northampton); C Hodgson (Sale Sharks), S Perry (Bristol); P Freshwater (Perpignan), G Chuter (Leicester), J White (Leicester), D Grewcock (Bath), B Kay (Leicester), M Corry (Leicester, capt), L Moody (Leicester), P Sanderson (Worcester).
Replacements: L Mears (Bath), S Turner (Sale Sharks), T Palmer (Wasps), M Lund (Sale Sharks), P Richards (Gloucester), T Flood (Newcastle), J Lewsey (Wasps)

Argentina: J-M Hernandez (Stade Francais); J Nunez Piossek (Bayonne), M Avramovic (Worcester), G Tiesi (London Irish), P Gomez Cora (Lomas Athletic); F Contepomi (Leinster), A Pichot (Stade Francais, capt); M Ayerza (Leicester), M Ledesma (Clermont Auvergne), O Hasan (Toulouse), I Fernandez-Lobbe (Sale Sharks), P Albacete (Pau), J Fernandez-Lobbe (Sale Sharks), J Leguizamon (London Irish), G Longo (Clermont Auvergne).
Replacements: A Vernet (Alumni), M Scelzo (Clermont Auvergne), E Lozada (CASI), M Schusterman (Leeds), N Fernandez-Miranda (Hindu), F Todeschini (Montpellier), H Agulla (Hindu)

Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)

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