SANTA FE, England (AP) — A depleted England pulled off a 2-0 series win over Argentina after beating the Pumas 35-25 in the second rugby test on Saturday.
Debuting an 11th player in the absence of a horde of British Lions, England repeated its feat of 2013 by winning both tests in Argentina against a Pumas side that had the benefit of playing as the Jaguares in Super Rugby for four months.
Captain Agustin Creevy said his Pumas were angry and out for revenge after losing the first test in San Juan to a last-minute try, but they were out-managed by England over the last quarter.
After flyhalf George Ford snapped a 40-meter dropped goal to give England a 10-point bugger with six minutes left, Argentina came alive for the first time in 15 minutes.
But England's defence was even better.
Replacement prop Matt Mullan and Ford held up replacement scrumhalf Gonzalo Bertranou. At the attacking scrum, the Pumas were held still by England, then scrumhalf Danny Care forced No. 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon backwards and to lose the ball. The danger was cleared and the victory was England's eighth straight against Argentina.
The game started in the same helter-skelter fashion as the first one finished, with the sides going tit for tat.
Charlie Ewels scored beside the post in support of fellow England lock Joe Launchbury, and Argentina replied with fullback Joaquin Tuculet forcing his way over between Marland Yarde and Mike Brown.
Nicolas Sanchez kicked Argentina in front thanks to England losing its discipline for 10 minutes, but Brown put England 18-13 up at halftime when he read a Sanchez crosskick, plucked it out of the air outside his 22, ran into Argentina's 22 and offloaded one-handed to send in Piers Francis.
There was no let up in the third quarter.
Pumas flanker Pablo Matera blocked Francis' attempted grubber on halfway, dribbled the ball twice, scooped it up and scored.
Back on attack, the Pumas' Jeronimo de la Fuente tried a behind-the-back pass but gave it to Ford. In a flash, Brown was streaking through the defense and sending Care to the try-line.
De la Fuente made up for the gaffe with the break for winger Emiliano Boffelli's second try in the series and a 25-25 tie.
Then England No. 8 Nathan Hughes set up a second try off a lineout maul, finished by replacement prop Will Collier. Ford converted, and his insurance dropped goal gave him 38 points in an entertaining series.