My predictions for last week’s match against Australia were full of ‘ifs’, and most of those related to whether England could win any quick ball. They couldn’t unfortunately, but the good news is that it can only get better.
This week, Argentina arrive at Twickenham, and although they are without two of their best players, they will probably fancy another upset after watching England’s lacklustre display against Australia.
Juan-Martin Hernandez and Felipe Contepomi are missing, but they’ll be looking for their forwards to win the game for them, and targeting the English front row in particular. England would love to have someone of Marcus Ayerza’s quality, but Argentina have enough talent in that department that they can leave him on the bench.
If England’s pack cannot live with the Pumas, it could be another long afternoon, but for what it’s worth, I think England will look considerably better this week…at least, I hope so. With Dylan Hartley and James Haskell starting in the forwards, and with Paul Hodgson at scrum-half, the speed of possession is bound to be quicker, and the backs should enjoy a little more space as the Argentinian defence is unlikely to be as aggressive as Australia’s last week.
I’d love to see England play with pace and spread the ball wide, and for Shane Geraghty to play as well as we know he can. The front five is a worry, but I still expect England to grind out a much-needed victory.
My SportGuru prediction: England by 11.
Am I being too optimistic again? What do you think?