Argentina v England: Rugby World Cup 2023 bronze final – live | Rugby World Cup 2023
15 mins: Boffelli shows a touch of class by wriggling out of a few tackles. Carreras lifts a high kick that is retained by Argentina so they can launch an attack inside England’s half for the first time. England concede a penalty on the ground and Argentina go to the corner.
No mistake. Argentina need to wake up quick fast. England are making them look pretty ordinary.
12 mins: England pinch Argentina’s line-out thanks to Genge who pounced on a loose ball. That was smart work from itoje who made a mess of the set-piece. Smith delays a pass to Marchant and Underhill runs straight. England get the penalty advantage. Youngs plays a dink that doesn’t go to anyone so Farrell will take aim at the poles again. All England so far.
10 mins: Itoje catches the restart and his mates form a formidable maul around him and drive up around 10 metres. That gives England front foot ball to kick and they once again dominate the battle fo the skies. Argentina are under pressure on their own 22 and choose to run it back. Cinti with a good canter and they’ve done well to make the space to eventually exit.
Earl is over! From a line-out maul that didn’t go anywhere, England keep the ball and it just opens up for Earl who busts through from splintered play to dot down under pressure. Just relentless punches through the guts. A strong carry from Stuart in the build up as well. Farrel, yet again under a torrent of whistles, slots the extras. Great start for England.
5 mins: England bossing the early kicking battle. It’s messy out the back of the scrum but a raking punt from Farrell puts Mallia under pressure. The relieving clearance doesn;’t go far so England get the line-out. Off first phase ball Tuilagi carries strong and it’s another England line-out feed. This time on the 22 on the left.
4 min: Mallia fields a high kick and Underhill, playing his first game since in a World Cup since the final four years ago, makes a big tackle. There’s an Argentinian knock-on so England will have the scrum feed around half way.
Despite the whistles, Farrell slots a neat shot from left of the poles. England on the board.
1 min: It’s kick tennis with the two 10s swapping long hoofs. Eventually Argentina’s fielders are snaffled 10m in their own half and England win a penalty on the ground. Bizarrely, yet again, Farrell is booed whenever he touches the ball. He’ll line up a shot at goal.
England will kick off. Farrell has the ball. PEEEEEP! Away we go!
The man on the tannoy has encouraged the crowd to “create the best atmosphere ever”. I’m not holding my breath, but I am excited for this. As the teams gather in huddles – with Argentina in their changed strip of navy and England in their traditional all white – we’re mere seconds away.
I’m game if Borthwick will take me. Thanks for the suggestion, Damian Clarke:
Hi, Dan. You don’t play loose head, do you?
If so, it’s a shame you’re not in the team. It would make for a potentially interesting front row at some point tonight.
For anyone not aware, Theo Dan starts at hooker for England and Dan Cole is on the bench. Would be a DAN-tastic front row! Sorry.
A bit of history for you plucked straight from World Rugby’s site:
The first match between Argentina and ‘an England XV’ was in 1978 – but the first test, in which caps were awarded to players from both sides, took place three years later. England have enjoyed the upper hand since, winning 20 of the 26 tests. Argentina have won five – most recently last November, when they recorded their second win at Twickenham, the first being in 2006, while that first test in 1981 ended in a draw.
10 minutes to go. And you know what, there’s a decent crowd in, It’s not full. But for a game that we’re told doesn’t matter all that much, I can feel a buzz.
We have to talk about the Tom Curry incident. I’m not qualified to weigh in on it, but if you’re not caught up, here are a few refreshers. Let’s just say the whole affair has soured in the mood.
It’s stopped raining in Paris. I’ve just taken my seat in the press box while the teams get through the prep.
I’m not going to kid you, the atmosphere outside the ground hasn’t had the usual oopmh that previous matches have had in abundance. But a belter of a match might solve that problem. And fair play to the stadium management. They’re blasting the music as loud as it can go and dazzling the few fans inside with a fancy light show. If you built it they will come, etc.
While we’re on the subject of last dances, tuck into Rob Kitson’s musings on the subject:
England are saying goodbye to a few legends of the game. Danny Care and Dan Cole will exit stage left. Courtney Lawes has already done so, having been left out (or having opted out) of tonight’s match.
Ben Youngs will also have one final crack. Read Gerard Meagher’s interview with the veteran scrummie:
Marcus Smith at full back, Manu Tuilagi in the centre (for the last time?), Henry Arundell tearing it up on the wing.
What’s not to love. Well, apart from this being a third/fourth play-off, but let’s not get bogged down in details.
England: Marcus Smith; Freddie Steward, Joe Marchant, Manu Tuilagi, Henry Arundell; Owen Farrell (captain), Ben Youngs; Ellis Genge, Theo Dan, Will Stuart; Maro Itoje, Ollie Chessum; Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Ben Earl
Replacements: Jamie George, Bevan Rodd, Dan Cole, David Ribbans, Lewis Ludlam, Danny Care, George Ford, Ollie Lawrence.
Hello everyone and welcome to the amuse-bouche of this weekend’s fare.
If it’s a game no team really wants to play then it is absolutely a team neither side wants to lose. It would be easy to assume that both England and Argentina will sleepwalk their way through this bronze medal showdown but that’s not always how it works.
Forget Argentina’s desire for revenge after their pool stage loss to tonight’s opponents, and forget England’s intent to bid adieu to a few legends of the Red Rose, this is a Test match. At a World Cup. Between two proud nations. I’d be surprised if this didn’t have at least some spark.
All eyes on Tom Curry, of course, after a very difficult week. More than most out there, he’ll be keen to get on with some rugby.
My name is Dan. Just two more games of what has been a sensational World Cup. Got something you want to share with the group? Drop me a line.
Kick-off at 9pm local time, 8pm BST.
Teams and updates to follow.