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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 21:57 GMT 22:57 UK
Soden off as England U-21s win
Mark Soden of Northampton on the charge
Soden (centre) was red-carded in the first half

A dramatic late try from full-back Jon Hylton gave England a hard-fought 20-17 win over Argentina in the IRB Under-21 World Cup in South Africa.

But their failure to secure a bonus point means the best Brian Ashton's side can finish is fifth after missing out on the semi-finals.

Top seeds New Zealand will play hosts South Africa in one semi-final, while Australia meet Wales in the other last four encounter.

England have to settle for a play-off against Ireland on Tuesday, while Argentina will play France in the battle for the fifth-to-eighth positions.


We are delighted to have won in extremely difficult conditions
Assistant coach Nigel Redman

England had skipper Mark Soden sent off after half an hour, but still led 6-0 at half-time through two penalties from London Irish's Simon Hunt.

The reasons for Soden's dismissal were unclear as the team management later sought video evidence of the incident.

Hunt converted his own try ten minutes after the re-start to keep England in command, but a penalty and two tries appeared to have sealed victory for Argentina at 17-13.

Despite being reduced to 13 men when Northampton hooker James Buckland was sin-binned, Hylton's breathtaking effort six minutes into injury time, converted by Sam Vestey, proved decisive.

Assistant coach Nigel Redman said: "We are delighted to have won in extremely difficult conditions playing with 14 men for most of the game.

"The character of the team came through and we played positive rugby."

England's two tries were not sufficient to secure the bonus point they needed however.

New Zealand's 73-19 trouncing of Wales was marred by a suspected broken ankle for one of the tournament's stars, wing Joe Rokocoko.


Results from Friday's games at the IRB U-21 World Cup in South Africa:

Fiji 26-28 Romania
Italy 13-34 Japan
South Africa 44-22 Ireland
Wales 19-73 New Zealand
England 20-17 Argentina
Australia 64-15 France

See also:

21 Jun 02 | International
21 Jun 02 | N Ireland
20 Jun 02 | International
16 Jun 02 | International
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