Against the Odds

I've said it before, but it's still true. Eddie Jones is something else. Before this weekend's rugby game between England and Argentina, i don't think many fans were expecting drama. England had looked remorseless and clinical, and Argentina had been unlucky underdogs, playing attractive stuff but losing out at the last minute to pragmatic Six Nations rugby. No contest, then? Very definitely a contest. Elliott Daly, keen new recruit to the England side, gets a bit too keen in the first five minutes, tipping over an Argentinian player in the air so that he falls on his head and shoulders. Red card. England play with fourteen men for almost all the game. Then Dan Cole gets a yellow card for some mysterious scrum infringement, and for ten minutes England have thirteen men. They go from 16-0 up to 16-14, conceding a brilliant end-to-end team try. Is this where the dream unravels?


Actually, no. England carry out twice as many tackles as the Argentinians. For a large part of the game they're on the defensive, tackling furiously, keeping their discipline. everyone says afterwards how they've planned this, talked about this, so that when it happens they know what to do, know what to say to each other. Not since 2003 have we had an England team of whom you could say stuff like that. This really is quite special.