Wales vs Argentina LIVE rugby: Result and reaction from autumn international as Wales edge to win

 (AP)
(AP)

Tries from No 8 Taulupe Faletau and scrum-half Tomos Williams took Wales to a 20-13 victory over a below-par Argentina in their autumn international fixture at the Principality Stadium.

Wales fell 6-0 behind early on but from that moment looked the likely winners as they showed considerably more control in possession and defensive solidity than in the 55-23 hammering they endured against New Zealand last weekend.

Argentina were coming off victory over England but were well below the standard they set in that game, with numerous unforced handling errors and poor kicks before prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro scored their only try late on.

Wales host Georgia next Saturday, while Argentina travel to Murrayfield to play Scotland.

Relive all the action from Cardiff with our blog below:

Wales vs Argentina updates

  • FULL-TIME! Wales 20-13 Argentina

  • 68’ - TRY! Tetaz Chaparro goes over from a maul (WAL 20-13 ARG)

  • 46’ - TRY! Williams charges down Mallia’s kick for the score (WAL 17-6 ARG)

  • 31’ - TRY! Faletau goes over from a driving maul (WAL 7-6 ARG)

Taulupe Faletau reacts

19:25 , Luke Baker

Taulupe Faletau was named Player of the Match for a tireless display and he gave his immediate reaction to Prime Video after the game.

He said: “Our performance was better than last week but there’s still plenty to work on. Looking back at the game last week and at where we went wrong, we talked about mindset. I think we were much better with that today. You've just got to keep working hard.”

FULL-TIME! Wales 20-13 Argentina

19:21 , Luke Baker

It wasn’t always pretty but Wales hold on for a desperately-needed win!

 (PA)
(PA)

Wales 20-13 Argentina, 80 mins

19:20 , Luke Baker

Wales just need to stay disciplined defensively. And they do! The ball is loose, Ken Owens picks it up, feeds Rhys Priestland and he kicks to touch!

Wales win!

Wales 20-13 Argentina, 80 mins

19:19 , Luke Baker

The Pumas win a penalty and the kick to touch moves them up towards halfway. A long way to go to get the equalising score though. Clock into the red.

Wales 20-13 Argentina, 79 mins

19:18 , Luke Baker

Scrappy lineout but won by Wales and Morgan makes a few yards on the carry. Argentina get the ball back but they’re deep in their own 22 and Albornoz’s kick clear is charged down by Williams. It squirts into touch for a five-metre lineout.

Wales 20-13 Argentina, 78 mins

19:17 , Luke Baker

Wales’s defence still shooting up and holding Argentina. Tipuric in particular a tackling machine. The Pumas can’t get over the halfway line and eventually give away possession.

Williams’ chip kick over the top is collected well by Carreras. But Argentina stuck in their own half and then Matera is forced into touch on the left. Wales have possession back with two minutes to go.

Wales 20-13 Argentina, 74 mins

19:14 , Luke Baker

Into the final six minutes. The teams play a bit of kick tennis before Priestland finds touch on halfway. Not a bad platform for Argentina to build.

Front-row change for Wales as Sam Wainwright on for Dillon Lewis.

Wales 20-13 Argentina, 72 mins

19:11 , Luke Baker

So close for Wales! They gets their speedsters to chase a kick through but Mallia just about gets there first for Argentina and plays the ball out from behind his own line, side-stepping a man.

They flip the field with a deep kick before Rees-Zammit thunders a kick clear towards halfway.

Ben Carter comes on for Adam Beard before his second-row teammate Will Rowlands goes off holding his wrist. Hooker Ryan Elias comes on for him and will play in the back row, with Faletau going intot he second row. A makeshift pack for Wales.

TRY! Wales 20-13 ARGENTINA (Tetaz Chaparro, 68 mins)

19:07 , Luke Baker

And there is the breakthrough.

Real momentum for Argentina from the driving maul as it comes infield, races to the line and replacement prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro burrows over. Boffelli adds the conversion and Argentina are within a score...

Wales 20-6 Argentina, 68 mins

19:05 , Luke Baker

Great game management for Wales as the win that period where they were down to 14 men 3-0. Back to 15 now. New fly-half on for Argentina as Tomas Albornoz is on for Santiago Carreras.

The Pumas are dominating territory and possession but can’t breach the line yet. Another five-metre lineout here.

Wales 20-6 Argentina, 66 mins

19:03 , Luke Baker

Argentina chuck the ball wide but Wales’s defence is impenetrable at the moment. North wraps Boffelli, holds him up and wins the turnover.

Rowlands will be back on in about 30 seconds’ time. Meanwhile, Eliseo Morales comes on for his Argentina debut at scrum half. Big day for the lad and he faces an uphill battle.

Wales 20-6 Argentina, 65 mins

19:00 , Luke Baker

Great kick chase by North as he hunts down Boffelli and pulls him to the ground. Wales look the hungrier side at the moment.

PEN! WALES 20-6 Argentina, (Priestland, 63 mins)

19:00 , Luke Baker

Priestland takes aim and from 40 metres, he sends the ball between the sticks. Good kick and Wales are now two converted tries ahead.

They’re also winning the period in which they’ve had 14 men 3-0.

Wales 17-6 Argentina, 62 mins

18:58 , Luke Baker

Into the final quarter in Cardiff. Wales managing this period with 14 men while Rowlands is in the sin-bin really well.

Great carry from Watkin, driving his legs and making good yards. Argentina getting really sloppy now as well, which helps. Mallia kicks the ball out on the full for a turnover.

Front-row change for Wales as Rhodri Jones comes off the bench. And Wales promptly win a penalty for offside! They’ll kick at goal

Wales 17-6 Argentina, 60 mins

18:55 , Luke Baker

Boffelli hasn’t had much ball to run with but he makes a half-break on the right flank. The Pumas go that way again, into the 22 but then there’s a knock-on by Santiago Carreras.

This is a good defensive effort by Wales in this second half. So disciplined and great line speed.

Matias Orlando enters the fray for the Pumas.

Wales 17-6 Argentina, 58 mins

18:54 , Luke Baker

Good touch-finder from Priestland to relieve the pressure. The veteran fly-half will be key to Wales surviving the next seven minutes or so while they’re down to 14 men.

WATCH: Williams gets charge-down score

18:52 , Luke Baker

Here’s how Tomos Williams got his try out of nothing:

Wales 17-6 Argentina, 58 mins

18:52 , Luke Baker

Carreras has a go down the blind side as Argentina move within five metres of the line. But it’s DROPPED! Wales hold firm again as Matera slips and spills the ball.

SIN BIN! WALES 17-6 Argentina, (Rowlands, 56 mins)

18:51 , Luke Baker

Not what Wales needed. Another penalty given away and Will Rowlands is sin-binned. He was clearly on the floor but reaches out and slaps the ball out of Betranou’s hands.

Needless and it means his team will be down to 14 for the next 10 minutes.

Wales 17-6 Argentina, 55 mins

18:49 , Luke Baker

Matera has a go at getting to the line before Gonzalez drives but he’s held up over the line. Great defence by Wales and we’ll have a water break.

A couple more changes as Rhys Preistland on for Anscombe, while Facundo Isa on for the Pumas.

Wales 17-6 Argentina, 54 mins

18:47 , Luke Baker

Sloppy at the lineout by Wales though, not for the first time, as Owens overthrows his man and Matera seizes upon it.

Dillon Lewis pinged for going off his feet and the Pumas go to the corner again. Maul is well defended by Wales, so they spread the ball to the backs.

Wales 17-6 Argentina, 52 mins

18:44 , Luke Baker

Wales miss touch with the penalty but soon win another at the breakdown - great stuff by Justin Tipuric leading the charge.

Change for Wales as Tompkins heads off, with Owen Watkin coming on.

Wales 17-6 Argentina, 51 mins

18:43 , Luke Baker

Eduardo Bello is also on, so it’s an all-new front row for the Pumas.

They kick the penalty to the corner, set up the maul and get within a couple of metres from the line but great breakdown work by Adam Beard who jackals to win the penalty. Top stuff from the lock.

Wales 17-6 Argentina, 49 mins

18:41 , Luke Baker

Ignacio Ruiz and Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro on in the front row for Argentina. They’re straight into a scrum and the Pumas win a penalty from it.

TRY! WALES 17-6 Argentina, (Williams, 46 mins)

18:38 , Luke Baker

Out of nowhere, Wales have another try!

A bit of nothing kick from Williams is easily gathered by Mallia but he dithers and that allows the scrum half to charge down his return kick. It careers towards the try line, Williams chases and dots down for the score. A bit of luck perhaps but Wales will take it.

Anscombe adds the extras and Wales have a healthy lead

Wales 10-6 Argentina, 45 mins

18:36 , Luke Baker

Heavy carry by Rowlands and Wales then run a few more phases to steadily gain ground. Wales preferring to go down the blindside but Thomas shows his props hands as he knocks on to end the attack.

Worth saying, Rees-Zammit is looking solid at 15 so far.

Wales 10-6 Argentina, 41 mins

18:33 , Luke Baker

Back underway for the second half in Cardiff. Can Wales convert this to a victory?

Nice carry by Rees-Zammit early in the second half before Cruz Mallia does well under a high ball during a kicking battle.

WATCH: Faletau goes over for the try

18:25 , Luke Baker

The only try of the first half came from Taulupe Faletau as he was driven over the whitewash

HALF-TIME! Wales 10-6 Argentina

18:16 , Luke Baker

Last play before half-time and Wales run a few phases in the tight before Anscombe boots it into the stands. The game in the balance but Wales deservedly lead through Faletau’s try.

 (PA)
(PA)

Wales 10-6 Argentina, 38 mins

18:15 , Luke Baker

Tompkins spills the kick-off to give possession straight to Argentina but Gonzalez returns the favour and Williams clears up to halfway.

Good contest in the air between Boffelli and Ree-Zammit sees Argentina earn the lineout but an attempted quick lineout to the front is disrupted by Gareth Thomas. Good awareness from the prop and it wins his team a scrum, just inside their own half

PEN! WALES 10-6 Argentina, (Anscombe, 37 mins)

18:13 , Luke Baker

Easy enough for Anscombe and he slots the kick. Wales have dominated the last 10 minutes and deservedly lead.

Wales 7-6 Argentina, 36 mins

18:12 , Luke Baker

A rare mistake from Carreras as he boots the kick-off straight out of play to immediately cede possession back to Wales.

Huge carry by North sends two defenders backwards! Superb stuff. Argentina then pinged for taking out the man off the ball and Anscombe can extend the lead from the tee.

TRY! WALES 7-6 Argentina (Faletau, 31 mins)

18:07 , Luke Baker

And there it is! Wales over at last.

In the end it’s rather simple. Good execution of the basics to claim lineout ball, they set up the driving maul and it moves inexorably to the line where Taulupe Faletau flops down for the score.

Gareth Anscombe adds the conversion and Wales are ahead

Wales 0-6 Argentina, 30 mins

18:06 , Luke Baker

Good, strong running from Tompkins gets him over the gain-line and into the Pumas 22. North then sent flying backwards by some great shoot-up defence.

Another penalty for Wales as Argentina penalised for offside - third penalty against them. Wales consider going for the posts but it’s to the corner again instead.

Wales 0-6 Argentina, 27 mins

18:02 , Luke Baker

This is entertainingly frantic! Better lineout from Owens, finding Tipuric. The noise around the stadium rises as Wales get closer to the line as Rees-Zammit makes some yards before Thomas is inches short.

Owens then dives for the line but the ball comes loose and Argentina pick it up before running from in their own in-goal area! They actually have a 3-on-1 overlap but Carreras drops the pass. Back for an Argentina scrum on their own 5-metre line.

Bad news for Wales though as Dan Lydiate goes off holding his left wrist. Jac Morgan comes on into the back row.

Wales 0-6 Argentina, 26 mins

17:59 , Luke Baker

Poor execution from Wales. The lineout is overthrown and Argentina steal, although Carreras then runs sideways in his own 22. The Pumas scramble a clearance kick but it doesn’t have great distance. Another Wales lineout just outside the 22

Wales 0-6 Argentina, 25 mins

17:58 , Luke Baker

The lineout maul gets inches away from the line and things then get frantic as Wales try to spread the ball to the backs and they knock on. Argentina pinged for being offside, so it’s back to the corner for Wales

Wales 0-6 Argentina, 24 mins

17:57 , Luke Baker

Nice offload from Tompkins to Rowlands and Wales then run through the phases. Good, disciplined defence from Argentina but the ref brings it back for a penalty from the original scrum.

Anscombe kicks towards the corner and the Principality Stadium crowd makes some noise ahead of the 5-metre lineout.

Wales 0-6 Argentina, 22 mins

17:56 , Luke Baker

That’s poor from Bertranou. The Argentine scrum-half sets up the caterpillar for the box-kick but knocks the ball on against his own player’s leg when trying to remove it from the ruck.

A chance for Wales from a scrum in Pumas territory

Wales 0-6 Argentina, 20 mins

17:54 , Luke Baker

Powerful carry by Matera makes good yards before Wales strip the ball at the breakdown. Good work from the hosts.

A kicking duel ensues and Wales win it when Tomos Williams finds a good touch midway in the Argentina half. A 60-odd metre gain at the end of that territory battle

Wales 0-6 Argentina, 19 mins

17:52 , Luke Baker

Dyer tries to get too clever and sees his attempted offload from the floor to Rees-Zammit intercepted. North is pinged for a high tackle on Boffelli.

Wales have given away 6 penalties to Argentina’s none, which is telling. It’ll be another attacking platform for the Pumas inside the Wales 22 from the lineout.

Wales 0-6 Argentina, 16 mins

17:49 , Luke Baker

Dyer spills a high ball but Mateo Carreras is pinged for illegally contesting. Can Wales build something here? They had a good start but it’s been all Argentina for the past 10 minutes

PEN! Wales 0-6 ARGENTINA, 13 mins (Boffelli)

17:46 , Luke Baker

Boffelli is possibly the best goal-kicker in the world but this one won’t test him. Right in front and does what’s needed to make it 6-0.

Wales 0-3 Argentina,12 mins

17:45 , Luke Baker

Lineout well defended initially by Wales but they give away another penalty for offside. The ref Ben O’Keefe talks to Wales skipper Justin Tipuric and says the next pen in the 22 will be a yellow card.

With that in mind, the Pumas consider playing from the penalty but will take the points instead.

Wales 0-3 Argentina, 10 mins

17:43 , Luke Baker

Argentina on the attack again and a neat set-play from the lineout brings them into the 22. You might remember it was a first-phase strike play from a lineout that led to one of their tries against England last week.

More ill-discipline from Wales as they’re caught offside in the channel. Eminently kickable but Carreras goes to the corner... The lineout has worked well so far for the Pumas.

PEN! Wales 0-3 ARGENTINA, 7 mins (Boffelli)

17:40 , Luke Baker

Emiliano Boffelli makes no mistake from the tee as he gives the Pumas an early lead

Wales 0-0 Argentina, 6 mins

17:39 , Luke Baker

Anscombe caught offside, so Argentina into the Welsh half for the first time as the clock passes five minutes. Lineout safely secured and a decent drive sets them up.

Fly-half Carreras on the wraparound and he pops to Cruz Mallia running a great line to enter the 22. Faletau pinged for not rolling away and it’s a shot at the posts upcoming

Wales 0-0 Argentina, 3 mins

17:36 , Luke Baker

Now Rio Dyer shows his skill as he skips past a man, cuts in from his right wing and makes good metres. Wales’s young back-three stars showing out early.

Argentina win the ball and clear but Wales will still have the lineout in Argentina territory. Good platform for them

Wales 0-0 Argentina, 2 mins

17:34 , Luke Baker

After a couple of early box kicks, Louis Rees-Zammit gets his first touch of the ball and he immediately shows his electric footwork to slide between defenders and make 30 metres to lift the crowd

Doesn’t matter whether he’s on the wing or at full-back, he’s a danger with ball in hand. Good offload as well but Faletau knocks the ball on a couple of passes later, so it’s an Argentina scrum on their own 22.

Wales 0-0 Argentina, 1 min

17:32 , Luke Baker

And we’re off in Cardiff! Santiago Carreras kicks the ball deep and it’s safely handled by George North

Wales vs Argentina

17:28 , Luke Baker

The teams are out and the anthems are just about completed. We’ll be kicking off in Cardiff imminently

Wayne Pivac gives his pre-match thoughts

17:25 , Luke Baker

Wales, and in particular coach Wayne Pivac, are under enormous pressure after a dismal run of results.

Speaking about last weekend’s record defeat to New Zealand, Pivac tells Prime Video: “We know we didn't play to our potential. We talked about a fast start and we need to start well. We need to be more physical, take it to the opposition and win collisions.

[On playing Louis Rees-Zammit at full-back]: “I guess it's a gamble because he’s not played there a lot but he trained well during the week. It's about back three as a whole helping each other.”

Argentina - team news

17:21 , Luke Baker

Meanwhile, Argentina have opted for an unchanged team and why not! They were superb in beating England at Twickenham last week so coach Michael Cheika sees no reason to switch things up.

It means Santiago Carreras continues at No 10, while kicker and wing superstar Emiliano Boffelli is the man who makes the Pumas tick, as shown by his 25-point haul a week ago

Argentina: 15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Mateo Carreras, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou; 8 Pablo Matera, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Thomas Gallo

Replacements: 16 Ignacio Ruiz, 17 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Eliseo Morales, 22 Tomas Albornoz, 23 Matias Orlando.

Wales - team news

17:16 , Luke Baker

Attention now turns to Cardiff where under-pressure Wales take on Argentina. Kick-off is about 15 minutes away

The big team news is that Louis Rees-Zammit will start at full-back. He switches from his usual wing to fill a problem position, with Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny both injured.

Alex Cuthbert, who has recovered from injury, and Rio Dyer - a try-scorer on his Test debut when New Zealand beat Wales 55-23 last weekend - complete the back three. Gareth Anscombe, who deputised for Halfpenny five days ago, reverts to fly-half, replacing Rhys Priestland.

Elsewhere, prop Dillon Lewis starts instead of Tomas Francis and experienced Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate features in the back row.

With Leicester flanker Tommy Reffell sidelined because of a rib injury, captain Justin Tipuric moves across to openside, packing down with No 8 Taulupe Faletau in a back-row trio boasting 246 caps. There is no place in the matchday 23 for Wales’ record cap holder Alun Wyn Jones.

Wales: 15 Louis Rees-Zammit, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gareth Thomas

Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Sam Wainwright, 19 Ben Carter, 20 Jac Morgan, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Owen Watkin.

F/T: England 52-13 Japan

17:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Really happy with that performance,” says Freddie Steward, named Player of the Match. “We had a point to prove after last weekend. We worked really hard this week and I’m glad it worked out for us. It was an incredible atmosphere today.

“Back to the drawing board [to prepare for New Zealand]. We’ll look at what we did well today, but we’ll need to be better next week.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

FULL TIME! ENGLAND 52-13 JAPAN

17:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A much, much improved showing from England, and that’s something of a statement victory over what is a more than handy Japanese side. At last, the much discussed attack clicked in a manner that delighted the Twickenham crowd, with Freddie Steward producing an outstanding display, Ellis Genge bristling about and the Marcus Smith/Owen Farrell axis creating all manner of issues for the Japan defence.

Plenty to like for Eddie Jones ahead of next week’s encounter with the All Blacks.

FULL TIME! ENGLAND 52-13 JAPAN

17:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England 52-13 Japan, 80 minutes

17:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Time for one more for England? Manu Tuilagi sets a burly platform on the crash ball, and Freddie Steward is found wonderfull by a wide pass on right right. Steward is chopped down at the ankles by an outstanding cover tackle, and Henry Slade knocks on as he hits an angle in the next phase.

Japan will feed a five metre scrum with the clock in the red...

England 52-13 Japan, 79 minutes

17:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England threaten another delightful carving after a Japan turnover in their own half, but Henry Slade can’t quite fling a pass away with Jonny May again disappointed on the left touchline.

England 52-13 Japan, 77 minutes

16:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nearly another! More sparkling handling from England, with Owen Farrell, now moving totally freely after that apparent issue, knifing between two tacklers and offloading.

Henry Slade guides a grubber for Jonny May to chase, but it slides slightly off the outside of the boot and into touch in goal. May looks to the heavens - he’d have got there first.

TRY! ENGLAND 52-13 Japan (Marcus Smith try, 74 minutes)

16:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Three kicks and England are in!

Crossfield; chip; hack ahead - England show a range of skills with the boot to hit fifty. Marcus Smith finds Freddie Steward on the right, Steward forced to stall to catch but still with space in front of him. The full-back-cum-wing chips ahead, with the bounce of the ball catching out the Japanese pendulum defender, allowing Henry Slade to produce a rather more rushed stab onwards.

It skews to the left, spinning and bouncing perfectly for Marcus Smith to gather and flop over. Owen Farrell converts.

England 45-13 Japan, 73 minutes

16:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ji-Won Gu is helped off the pitch - a solid enough effort from the Japan tighthead after some early scrum-time frights against Ellis Genge.

Kotaro Matsushima knocks Ben Youngs’ box kick into touch.

England 45-13 Japan, 72 minutes

16:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England spill the restart. The seldom-sighted Kotaro Matsushima darts into Marcus Smith, generating Japanese momentum.

That rather stalls it! A crunching hit from Owen Farrell, whose lower limb injury appears to have healed.

Japan manage to get a pass over the top of a leaping Jonny May, but the cover defence is sound, and Japan are forced into touch.

TRY! ENGLAND 45-13 Japan (Penalty try, 70 minutes)

16:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Japan bring the maul down illegally and referee James Doleman trots beneath the posts!

England 38-13 Japan, 69 minutes

16:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Bright from Jonny May, timing his blitz around the corner perfectly to force a knock on from Naoto Saito. A Japan player in front of the scrum half then picks up to prevent England capitalising further, which upgrades the scrum to a penalty.

Another penalty at the lineout allows Marcus Smith to advance his forward pack further.

England 38-13 Japan, 65 minutes

16:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Japan on the attack as the action resumes after those changes. A sustained period sees Warner Dearns go mighty close, with Tom Curry just able to wrestle the lock to the floor.

Dylan Riley nutmegs Henry Slade and dashes after his kick through, but Owen Farrell is back to defuse the danger.

That will be a worry for Eddie Jones, though - Farrell grimaces as he slides to ground the ball, and isn’t moving particularly freely as he rejoins his teammates for the goalline drop out. He’ll continue with England out of replacements, but one to monitor.

England 38-13 Japan, 64 minutes

16:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England make three more changes. On come: Ben Youngs to a smattering of boos; Manu Tuilagi to an excited ooh; and Henry Slade with a great roar as the centre wins his 50th cap.

Jack van Poortvliet, Guy Porter and Joe Cokanasiga off. Freddie Steward moves to the wing with Slade at full back and Tuilagi alongside Owen Farrell in midfield.

England 38-13 Japan, 63 minutes

16:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England are free kicked at the scrum as Jamie George withdraws his brake foot.

Japan tap and go, switching play to the left and seeking a 50:22. Slightly sliced - the ominpresent Freddie Steward covers and pats the ball down in his own in-goal.

England 38-13 Japan, 61 minutes

16:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Billy Vunipola introduces himself to Craig Millar in typically muscular manner, the number eight perhaps slightly too high, but managing to avoid any head contact.

There was, however, contact between Vunipola’s hand and the ball - a Japan scrum is the call.

England 38-13 Japan, 61 minutes

16:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An exasperated ‘ooh’ from Freddie Steward as he comes about six inches short of a 50:22, an aggresive left-ward hop taking his kick out before it crosses the required line. It’s still a superb kick, a great raking punt on the angle from right to left, but it will be a Japan lineout.

Before it can be thrown, an England alteration - Jonny Hill departs, Billy Vunipola arrives, and Maro Itoje moves up to lock.

TRY! England 38-13 JAPAN (Naoto Saito, 59 minutes)

16:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Really, really sharp from Warner Dearns. Alex Coles strips the ball free from Japanese hands, with Dearns swiftest to react. The lock levers his lanky frame down to just about collect, producing a deceptively deft step to create the space for an offload to Naoto Saito.

Seung-sin Lee adds the conversion from bang in front.

England 38-6 Japan, 57 minutes

16:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Right, a chance for Japan in English territory. Siosaia Fifita has recently arrived but England have a handle on the great hulking wing, Sam Simmonds and Jamie George in tandem to stop him.

Hang on - Warner Dearns teleports into space and Japan are in!

England 38-6 Japan, 56 minutes

16:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Pats on the head for the Japanese front row from their lither teammates as Ji-won Gu and Craig Millar combine to force their English counterparts to go to floor under pressure.

England 38-6 Japan, 54 minutes

16:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An attempted England clearance is charged down, fortunately skewing straightin to touch rather than ricocheting into an area of danger.

Another change for each side. Naoto Saito for Yutake Nagare at scrum-half for Japan; Alex Coles for Dave Ribbans in a switch of Saints second rows in the English engine room.

England 38-6 Japan, 53 minutes

16:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jamie Joseph turns to his bench in a bid to halt England: Craig Millar is on at loosehead and Lappies Labuschagne has arrived in the back row, with Kazuki Himeno shifting to number eight.

Changes for the hosts, too - Mako Vunipola takes the place of Ellis Genge, while Jamie George (who has recovered remarkably speedily from two broken metatarsals) makes his return at hooker, welcomed to the field with a bear hug from the departing Luke Cowan-Dickie.

TRY! ENGLAND 38-6 Japan (Guy Porter try, 50 minutes)

16:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another for England! A brilliant bit of improvisation from Owen Farrell and Guy Porter scores his second!

This could become ugly for Japan. Maro Itoje counter rucks firmly and great open spaces appear in the Japan defence. England manage to maintain control of the ball down the left despite an intervening Japanese hand, reaching the fringes of the Japan 22.

With Jack van Poortvliet otherwise engaged, Farrell is alert and plays scrum-half, tickling a lovely little left-footed through-ball for his centre partner to get after. Porter wins the race to it; Farrell’s latest clean strike from the tee extends the lead.

TRY! ENGLAND 31-6 Japan (Ellis Genge try, 48 minutes)

16:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Over powers Ellis Genge!

Another well-taken English score. Owen Farrell comes very close to slithering free of a tackler as he runs a hard line, and the centre wisely chooses not to chance a risky offload to Guy Porter, enabling England to keep the ball alive. Freddie Steward is felled as he tries to explore the outside arc that proved profitable for his opening score, but England’s forward reload and assemble themselves centrally.

Genge sits down a defender and provides a forthright finish. Farrell converts.

England 24-6 Japan, 46 minutes

16:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And now Freddie Steward strides on up the left after good ball movement from those inside him.

England’s ruck ball is sharp. Jack van Poortvliet throws in a misdirecting dummy and then pops to Marcus Smith, with Kyle Sinckler bundling up in midfield.

Groans as England kick the ball away on the right; cheers as a jackal is rewarded with a holding on penalty. Into the corner.

England 24-6 Japan, 45 minutes

16:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A fine defensive set from England, staying connected as Japan play out the back and eventually forcing a slightly aimless kick from Seung-sin Lee.

Missed penalty! England 24-6 Japan, 43 minutes

16:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Starts right, stays right - Lee is off the mark.

Jonny May has served his spell in the sin bin. Back he comes with England up to 15 again.

England 24-6 Japan, 42 minutes

16:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Plenty has gone right for Engand so far but the lineout remains a little clunky. Luke Cowan-Dickie’s throw to the tail fails to hit the mark.

Jonny Hill then makes a high tackle, his bicep around the neck. New man Seung-sin Lee will kick at goal from the ten-metre line, 15 in on the left.

England 24-6 Japan, 41 minutes

16:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England, remember, remain down to 14 players with Jonny May still in the sin bin. Marcus Smith pins Japan back with a punt down the channel between Ryohei Yamanaka and his wing. The full-back clears with his powerful left boot.

H/T: England 24-6 Japan

16:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Japan are out very, very early for the second half, all ready to go with England’s replacemetns still going about their half-time drills. The Brave Blossoms have been some way short of their best so far - can they improve after the break?

Michael Leitch gathers a group of his teammates for a chat, with the towering Warner Dearns gesturing firmly. Seungsin Lee is on for the visitors, replacing Takuya Yamasawa and will kick things off after England finally re-emerge.

H/T: England 24-6 Japan

16:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Rather more like it from England, who have played with a purpose they seemed to lack against Argentina. Japan have shown glimpses of invention and cut with ball in hand, but the hosts have largely been in control, with Freddie Steward outstanding so far from full-back.

HALF TIME! ENGLAND 24-6 JAPAN

16:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

TRY! ENGLAND 24-6 Japan (Guy Porter try, 41 minutes)

15:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A try for Guy Porter on his home England debut!

England kick in behind Japan and hurry through in muscular fashion, winning the ball back at a ruck. There’s great open expanses of pasture on the left, and the hosts are alive to it, the ball flung wide to Sam Simmonds.

Simmonds threatens to make a meal of what looks like a simple enough two-on-one, but manages to wriggle free of the initial tackle to send Porter in.

Owen Farrell’s conversion caps a much, much better first half from England.

England 17-6 Japan, 39 minutes

15:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The English lineout malfunctions, and Japan kick again, this time with a bit more oomph. Freddie Steward gathers and releases an up-and-under...which the full-back claims imperiously!

England 17-6 Japan, 38 minutes

15:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A penalty against England should allow Japan to advance up the left, but the visitors fail to find touch with their punt.

Another error from Japan, a dropped ball in midfield hacked through off the floor by Jonny Hill, forcing Gerhard van den Heever into brisk retreat. The sliding wing nearly makes a hash of his collection but just about smothers it. Japan clear.

PENALTY! England 17-6 JAPAN (Takuya Yamasawa penalty, 35 minutes)

15:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Three more points for Takuya Yamasawa.

YELLOW CARD! Jonny May is sent to the sin bin! England 17-3 Japan, 34 minutes

15:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But just like that, Japan nearly go the length! Michael Leitch takes an inside ball and shows remarkable gas, powering away from the English chasers.

Dylan Riley takes Leitch’s pass, which looks suspiciously close to forward, and toes beyond Jonny May - and out-pacing the England wing to the ball.

May jackals, but fails to show a clear release - off he is sent for a ten minute sit-down!

England 17-3 Japan, 33 minutes

15:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Some predictably lively variation from Japan, even as they attack deep in their own territory. Gerhard van den Heever watches the bounce of a crossfield kick well, but finds support lacking, and has to kick away.

Jack van Poortvliet goes to the skies...and Jonny May claims it.

PENALTY! England 17-3 JAPAN (Takuya Yamasawa penalty, 32 minutes)

15:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Takyua Yamasawa kicks Japan’s first points of the afternoon.

England 17-0 Japan, 30 minutes

15:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An opening for Japan? England get their lineout wrong, and the visitors have the ball.

The livewire Nagare keeps the tempo up, but England do enough to stall Japan’s heavier lumberers.

A sharp blast of the whistle from the referee - England were offside.

England 17-0 Japan, 28 minutes

15:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Deft from Gerhard van den Heever, the wing roaming off the left and producing a delicious little backhand flick for Yutaka Nagare to collect.

Japan do look a threat with ball in hand. Tevita Tatafu uses his rather large frame to make a bust up the centre, but Michael Leitch can’t keep his sizeable limbs in the field of play as he attempts to run over Joe Cokanasiga on the left.

England 17-0 Japan, 26 minutes

15:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Twickenham, so flat for the Argentina game, is purring like a contented cat now - the home fans appear rather pleased by the attacking intent shown by their players.

Luke Cowan-Dickie claims the restart impressively above his head, showing rather more dexterity in the air than he did against Scotland at the start of the Six Nations. A high hoist comes down to earth via hands both English and Japanese - with the initial knock on from Joe Cokanasiga. Japan scrum.

TRY! ENGLAND 17-0 Japan (Marcus Smith try, 24 minutes)

15:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A thing of beauty from England on the counter!

It’s Freddie Steward who sparks it. The full-back spies a slightly disjointed Japanese chase, evading one tackler as he moves infield to muscle through two more.

Steward gets his arms free and combines with Leicester mate Jack van Poortvliet, who asks an onrushing Joe Cokanasiga to do the hard charging. Cokanasiga briefly looks to be free but manages to keep the ball alive even as he is dragged to floor with Marcus Smith collecting a one-handed offload off the deck and scampering over in the right corner.

Owen Farrell draws his conversion through perfectly.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England 10-0 Japan, 22 minutes

15:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Luke Cowan-Dickie’s lineout throw secured with little certainty, but England just about have it and will play.

Picked off! Yutake Nagare snatches Marcus Smith’s pass like an apple from the autumn orchard and hurries away, kicking ahead as the English tacklers circle him.

England 10-0 Japan, 21 minutes

15:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Scrum three, penalty three for England, who are on top at the set piece so far.

England 10-0 Japan, 19 minutes

15:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Guy Porter is slightly loose in his carry and is mugged of the ball by Ryoto Nakamura, with shouts of excitement from the Japan backs as they power up their engines for a chance to attack with turnover ball. Dylan Riley leads them up the left, but the handling is imprecise, and England will have a scrum.

England 10-0 Japan, 17 minutes

15:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Through goes Jonny Hill but there is a knock on in the build up! England vary their play, Luke Cowan-Dickie coming around the corner as Tom Curry feeds him at the back of the maul. The hooker combines with his Exeter teammate Sam Simmonds, but as England try to play quickly away from the base, a horrible pass leaves Tom Curry a scooping job to do - and the flanker fails to do it cleanly. Hill throws his head back in frustration after collecting and crossing. A chance missed.

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