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Defeats for England and Samoa, victory for MacGinty's USA

Ellis Genge, Kyle Sinckler, Chris Vui and AJ MacGinty were all on international duty this weekend, with defeats for England and Samoa and a thumping win for the USA.

England were beaten 30-29 by Argentina in their Autumn Nations Series opener at Twickenham.

Despite two tries and 19 points from the boot of Owen Farrell, it was not enough to overcome an inspired Argentine side, who recorded their first win over England since 2009.

The sides traded penalty kicks inside the opening 20 minutes, with Argentina's Emiliano Boffelli slotting two against Owen Farrell's solo effort. 

Joe Cokanasiga scored England's first try after 25 minutes, from a five-metre attacking scrum, the Bath wing was hit by Ben Youngs on a short line and powered over from close range. Farrell's extras opened up a four-point lead.

With not much attacking prowess on display, taking advantage of kicking opportunities became paramount, as Boffelli and Farrell traded another pair of penalties with half-time approaching - making it 16-12 at the break.

Argentina lifted the pace at the resumption and retook the lead after seven minutes through a strike move off a lineout that saw the ball spread wide to Santiago Carreras, who in turn hit Boffelli out wide to go over in the corner. 

Boffelli was unable to convert his own effort but was successful moments later when Carreras took advantage of a wayward pass to scamper away for Los Pumas' second try, making the score 24-16 to Michael Cheika's men. 

Only on the pitch 29 seconds, Jack van Poortvliet made an immediate impact when he sniped from the base of a ruck and broke away from  Francisco Gomez Kodela and Pablo Matera, running in a try from 30 metres, with Farrell's successful conversion making it a one point game.

As the hour passed, Farrell and Boffelli continued their battle of the boot, England's centre notching up his fifth penalty and Boffelli his sixth.

On debut, second-row Alex Coles grew into the game making ground with positive carries. The Northampton Saint was the catalyst behind a promising attack that gave England a good attacking position, only for the subsequent phases to be thwarted by a stubborn Argentine defence.

That defence held on, as Los Pumas denied an 11th consecutive defeat at the hands of England.

Hooker Dylan Fawsitt and winger Christian Dyer both scored hat-tricks as AJ MacGinty's USA won their first-ever meeting with Kenya 68-14.

The Eagles scored 10 tries in total and racked up their highest-ever score outside of the Americas in a largely one-sided encounter.

An early yellow card to second-row Siaosi Mahoni and poor moments of execution inside the Kenya 22 did not make for the most auspicious of starts by the Eagles in the Dubai sunshine.

Increasingly the Eagles turned to the set-piece and their dominance in that area, especially at lineout time, eventually told as they laboured to a 19-0 half-time lead.

With the free-scoring Joe Taufeteʻe still unavailable to the Eagles, Fawsitt was given a rare chance to start by head coach Gary Gold and he took his opportunity with both hands, the 32-year-old peeling away from a lineout for his first before touching down for a second time from the back of a rolling maul.

Shortly after Kenya winger Geofrey Okwach returned from the sin-bin, industrious number eight Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz added a third for the Eagles, which was just reward for his efforts after a previous effort had been disallowed for a double movement.

Fawsitt and the Eagles maintained the route one approach at the start of the second half, and after a couple of near-misses, the tactic paid dividends again with the hooker bringing up his hat-trick and the Eagles’ bonus point try, on 48 minutes, from another lineout play.

With Jack Carty slotting three conversions on the bounce after a failed first attempt, the USA led 26-0.

By now the USA were full of running and Dyer jinked over for their fifth on 51 minutes, Carty converting for a fourth time.

Feeling the pressure, Kenya brought on some fresh legs and a huge carry from replacement prop Andrew Siminyu led to a try for Brian Juma.

At last, the vocal Kenya fans had something to cheer about, but it did not take long for USA to retake control and they reeled off three tries in six minutes.

Nate Augspurger scored the Eagles’ sixth try before Dyer finished of a fine team try and then another to complete his hat-trick.

USA returned to their maul to provide replacement hooker Mike Sosene Feagai with his maiden test try and Mitch Wilson joined him in opening up his account on 76 minutes.

Replacement kicker AJ MacGinty had knocked over his four previous attempts and added a fifth to rack up 10 points in 16 minutes.

Kenya had been thoroughly outplayed but they showed what they can do when they do get some possession in space when winger Joshua Weru collected a lovely pass from Martin Owilah and galloped home unopposed, Darwin Mukidza converting for the second time in the match.

Monty Ioane scored twice as Italy stormed to a 49-17 win over Chris Vui's Samoa in their opening game of the Autumn Nations Series.

Juan Ignacio Brex touched down in the first half before tries from Pierre Bruno and Ioane made it 28-0 at the break.

After half-time, Ioane and Bruno scored their second tries of the game before Lorenzo Cannone crossed the whitewash on debut.

Samoa got on the scoresheet through Ulupano Junior Seuteni, Duncan Paia’aua and Saracens star Theo McFarland in the dying stages.

Tommaso Allan put Italy 3-0 up in the 11th minute from the kicking tee.

Brex then scored the first try of the afternoon, hitting a brilliant line through the middle to split the Samoan defence and touch down underneath the posts.

Italy were playing some superb running rugby, and they went from their 22 to the Samoan try line straight from the kick-off, Stephen Varney finding Bruno, who put his foot down to help his side into a 17-0 lead.

He stepped off his left foot to trick the Samoan defence and touch down in the corner to end a brilliant first 40 minutes from Italy.

After the break, Ioane was straight back on the front foot, scoring his second try of the afternoon.

He showed his power to bounce off Rodney Iona and finish intelligently in the corner.

Seuteni made it 35-7 with a brilliant wrap-around that created enough space for the centre to dive over the Italian try line.

Cannone kept Italy in control, scoring on his debut after being found on the touchline by a brilliant pass from scrum-half Varney before diving over the whitewash in the corner.

Bruno scored his second six minutes later after Paolo Garbisi's grubber kick through the Samoan defence bounced into the winger's hands.

Samoa had the final word though.

First, they scored through Paia’aua when a turnover at the breakdown put the substitute through.

And McFarland scored his try in a sensational fashion.

He was found out wide, before fending off one defender, stepping another and powering through the final tackle to score.

Still, it was a brilliant victory for Italy, who kick off their campaign in style ahead of a clash with Australia next weekend.


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