Argentina veteran Agustin Creevy promised a "war" against England at Tokyo Stadium tonight. In the end it was just a phony one, the 14-man Pumas crashing to defeat and almost certainly out of the Rugby World Cup against an England side who were efficient in securing a bonus point win without being overly impressive.

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The game was effectively over as a contest once lock Tomas Lavinini was shown a red card by referee Nigel Owens for his 17th-minute high tackle on England captain Owen Farrell.

Strangely, Owens felt the tackle was legal in real time but the multiple replays proved that to be very wrong and off Lavinini went and not for the first time.

England centre Manu Tuilagi is caught by the Argentina defence during the Rugby World Cup pool match played at Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan. Photo / Mark Mitchell.
England centre Manu Tuilagi is caught by the Argentina defence during the Rugby World Cup pool match played at Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo, Japan. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

The many raucous Pumas fans were incensed two minutes later when Manu Tuilagi escaped a card for tackling Emiliano Boffelli in the air, Owens ruling it as "bad timing", an inconsistency which did not go unnoticed by the Argentines or their many supporters.

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From there, England, who will play off against France in Yokohama next Saturday for the right to top Pool C, appeared a little uncertain or perhaps overly confident that the game was already up but once Jonny May, Elliot Daly and Ben Youngs crossed the line for a 15-3 halftime lead it really was.

Farrell, who strangely didn't go off for a head injury assessment after collecting Lavinini's left shoulder with his jaw, missed all three conversions. He generally kicks at 80 per cent; more evidence that he should have left the field as a precaution.

Lavinini's red card came hours after Australia forwards Adam Coleman and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto were yellow carded for high tackles during their 45-10 win over Uruguay in Oita. Kurtley Beale was lucky to avoid one for the same offence.

There are likely to be many more before the final at Yokohama Stadium on November 2 and, from an All Blacks' perspective, Steve Hansen's decision to play the final 15 minutes of their warm-up test against Tonga in Hamilton with 14 men as preparation for just that occurrence is likely to be time well spent.

England, who lost their influential No 8 Billy Vunipola at halftime with what appeared to be an ankle injury, were solid defensively but predictable on attack and if Vunipola's injury is serious it will be a big blow to Eddie Jones because he provides a point of difference in the wide channels.

Midfielder Tuilagi had few opportunities but probably should have gone looking for more work and England's best attacking weapons were probably left wing May and fullback Daly. If and when they find themselves under pressure here in Japan they would be best not to rely on their workmanlike first-five George Ford to get them out of it.

England first five-eighths George Ford diving jubilant after scoring against Argentina during their their Rugby World Cup 2019 pool match played at Tokyo Stadium. Photo / Mark Mitchell.
England first five-eighths George Ford diving jubilant after scoring against Argentina during their their Rugby World Cup 2019 pool match played at Tokyo Stadium. Photo / Mark Mitchell.

The less said about Argentina's attack the better. First-five Benjamin Urdapilleta, a curious selection ahead of Nicolas Sanchez, who wasn't in the match-day 23, was poor with and without the ball.

With a loss to France first up and only a victory over Tonga, the Pumas have been a huge disappointment at this tournament following the Jaguares' efforts in getting all the way to the Super Rugby final.

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Their inability to find touch from penalties or exploit space on attack was shameful at times and even worse they have managed to dull the extraordinary talents of loose forward Pablo Matera, the man who was perhaps the best player on the pitch for the Jaguares in their final loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch in July.

Wing Matias Moroni's converted try here with nine minutes remaining was virtually their only highlight.

England 39 (Jonny May, Elliot Daly, Ben Youngs, George Ford, Jack Nowell, Luke Cowan-Dickie tries; Owen Farrell 3 cons, pen)
Argentina 10 (Matias Moroni try; Benjamin Urdapilleta pen, Emiliano Boffelli con)
Halftime: 15-3