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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Dylan Hartley wants ‘better’ from England despite rugby Test win over Argentina

Scotland defeat Samoa in match with eleven tries at Murrayfield

England's Dylan Hartley, right, is tackled by the Argentine Ramiro Moyano at Twickenham on Saturday. Tim Ireland / AP Photo
England's Dylan Hartley, right, is tackled by the Argentine Ramiro Moyano at Twickenham on Saturday. Tim Ireland / AP Photo

England made an unconvincing start to their autumn series of matches, but still ensured they will enter their group showdown against Argentina at the 2019 Rugby World Cup with an immaculate record against the South American under Eddie Jones.

A 21-8 victory at Twickenham on Saturday gave Jones’s men a fourth successive victory in the fixture, but it was a disappointing way to open a schedule that continues against Australia next Saturday and concludes with the visit of Samoa on November 25.

"A win’s the main thing today. There’s so much more to get better at,” Dylan Hartley, the England captain, told the BBC.

“Defensively we obviously wanted to keep a clean sheet, so obviously disappointed with conceding at any stage of the game. So there’s obviously stuff to work on.”

It was among the poorest performances under the Australian as – having established a 14-3 half-time lead – they only moved out of sight in the final 15 minutes when Semesa Rokoduguni crossed over the line.

Eddie Jones was not an entirely happy man during the England Test on Saturday. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
Eddie Jones was not an entirely happy man during the England Test on Saturday. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Missing the rested Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje, England toiled on a poor Twickenham pitch that had clearly suffered from staging the recent NFL matches.

At one point Jones lost his cool, television cameras showing him slam his notebook down and mouth his displeasure – his first public display of anger since taking over in 2015. The boot of George Ford and a try from Nathan Hughes helped them move into a 14-3 lead at the break, but they struggled to find momentum after that.

Even though Rokoduguni stretched their lead, it was Argentina who had the final say with a consolation score through Nicolas Sanchez.

“Ball in hand I think we just need to get in the right areas of the field and then treasure the ball,” Hartley added. “Too many times the ball ended up in touch, the ball was a bit greasy, knocked it on.”

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Meanwhile, Scotland survived a second-half fightback to kick off their international season with a 44-38 win over Samoa at Murrayfield.

The hosts looked to be cruising to a comfortable win when 32-10 up early in the second half, but the tourists fought back gamely in Edinburgh in a match that saw 11 tries.

Two from Stuart McInally, and one each for Stuart Hogg, Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar and Peter Horne proved enough however, to secure a win in Gregor Townsend’s first home game in charge of the side, with the team up against world champions New Zealand next weekend.

McInally praised Richard Cockerill, his club coach at Edinburgh, for helping him improve as a player.

Scotland's hooker Stuart McInally, centre, scores a try during their Test against Samoa at Murrayfield. Andy Buchanan / AFP
Scotland's hooker Stuart McInally, centre, scores a try during their Test against Samoa at Murrayfield. Andy Buchanan / AFP

“Richard has put a lot of faith in me,” the hooker told BBC Sport. “I’ve had a lot of game time and it’s helped me.

“I’m really pleased to be playing. I didn’t play at all for Scotland last year. It’s great to be here in front of a sell-out crowd and I’m pleased we could get the win. Forty four points is great but there’s a lot to work on.”

Josh Tyrell, Piula Fa’asalele, Tim Nanai-Williams, Kieron Fonotia and Ofisa Treviranus were the try scorers for Samoa.