England took its winning run over fierce rugby rival Australia to eight games in a 32-15 victory, a late breakaway try reflecting the home team's dominance and the Wallabies' error-strewn performance at Twickenham today.
England could muster only one try — a seventh-minute effort by fullback Freddie Steward off a pop-pass by flyhalf Marcus Smith — before Jamie Blamire trundled over in second-half stoppage time after the last handling error by the Australians.
They managed to stay in touch despite playing two 10-minute periods with 14 men, following sin-binnings for winger Tom Wright and prop Angus Bell either side of halftime.
Coming off a 15-13 loss in Scotland on Sunday, Australia conceded 18 penalties — double that of England — and made 12 handling errors but the English struggled to take advantage.
Ultimately, they kept the scoreboard ticking over with penalty kicks, with Owen Farrell booting five of them to go with his early conversion before hobbling off near the end with an apparent left leg injury.
Smith, winning his fourth cap at flyhalf, kicked a 73rd-minute penalty to put England 10 points clear and virtually ensure no way back for Australia.
James O'Connor kicked all of Australia's points off penalties.
England has won all of its meetings with Australia since a devastating loss in the pool stage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup that knocked the team out of the tournament on home soil. Eddie Jones, an Australian, has been at the helm for all of them though this was the first over current Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.
South Africa subdues spirited Scotland
South Africa scored 13 points in the first 15 minutes of the second half and then leaned on its dominant scrum and forward pack to subdue a spirited Scotland and win their rugby test 30-15.
Wing Makazole Mapimpi collected both the Springboks' tries, with his second coming in that decisive spell after halftime, to help the world champion to a second win in two games on its end-of-year tour to Britain.
Scotland captain Stuart Hogg also crossed for two tries to first put the Scots ahead 10-8 at halftime, and then close the gap to 21-15 midway through the second half.
Hogg pumped his arms in celebration after his second try, and nearly 70,000 at a packed Murrayfield responded with a roar in the hope of a famous Scottish comeback.
But Scotland, in search of a first win over South Africa since 2010, couldn't hold its own against the Springboks' pack in the last 20 minutes, and the roars faded.
South Africa added three late penalties as the forwards turned the screw to win a series of penalties for their team at scrum time and at the breakdown.
Replacement flyhalf Handre Pollard kicked two of those penalties and replacement fullback Frans Steyn blasted the other over from about 50 meters to end Scotland's challenge.
After beating Wales and now Scotland, the Springboks face England next weekend at Twickenham for a chance at three wins from three and a satisfying end to their first full year of rugby since winning the 2019 World Cup.
South Africa was in charge of the first 20 minutes of both halves but Scotland rebounded brilliantly in the first 40.
Having held out South Africa's big ball carriers close to their tryline in the opening skirmishes, Scotland worked a turnover to South African-born wing Duhan van der Merwe and his 50-meter breakaway set up a penalty for Finn Russell to give Scotland the lead.
Mapimpi sped clear for his first try in the 28th minute.
But Scotland used the power of Van der Merwe again to good effect when he caught a cross-kick from Russell and held off South African defenders to pass inside to Chris Harris. Harris' pass was half-blocked, and Hogg responded to scoop up the loose ball and score.
South Africa, with director of rugby Rassie Erasmus back in the contentious role of on-field water carrier, reclaimed the lead straight after the break and didn't give it up again.
This time, center Damian de Allende made a burst and put Mapimpi clear. Elton Jantjies, starting in place of regular No. 10 Pollard, kicked the Springboks 21-10 clear.
Scotland fought again when Van der Merwe came off his wing to draw two South African defenders and send an overhead basketball-type pass to Hogg for the fullback's second try in the 58th minute.
With it, Hogg equaled the Scottish record with his 24th test try.
But while the gap was closed to six points and the crowd hoped for another change of momentum, South Africa didn't allow it this time.
Argentina ends 7-match losing run beating Italy
Argentina ended a seven-match losing run after accounting for Italy 37-16 in a willing contest.
A drought extended by coming up just short to France in Paris last weekend had the Pumas keen to disregard flashy thoughts and execute the basics. They did, and were rewarded with five mainly workmanlike tries to one.
Italy was full of intent but a developing side with only 224 caps (Argentina had 617) struggled with accuracy and fluidity and was too often its own enemy: It committed 20 turnovers.
And yet, it was in the match for more than 50 minutes at 24-16 down, with cries of "I-ta-li-a" ringing around Stadio Comunale di Monigo, until Argentina set itself, held possession and caught Italy short out right for an untouched Santiago Cordero to make it a relieving 29-16.
Into the last quarter, the Pumas stole a third lineout before adding a penalty by replacement flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez, and finished their eighth straight win against Italy with a rolling maul try by replacement hooker Facundo Bosch, seconds after he'd knocked on over the line from another rolling maul.
Italy lost for a 16th straight time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with Uruguay up next.
The way Argentina started, it looked like it would be a rout. They kicked out of their half, captain Julian Montoya bossed the breakdowns, and they were up 17-0 after 28 minutes.
An Italy 22 dropout was returned high by flyhalf Santiago Carreras, fullback Emiliano Boffelli caught it and offloaded to lock Marcos Kremer to run in.
Boffelli also converted a try by flanker Juan Martin Gonzalez. Italy flyhalf Paolo Garbisi knocked on, the Pumas countered, Jeronimo de la Fuente grubbered and Gonzalez toed on the ball which conveniently sat up for him on the tryline.
A couple of Garbisi penalties had Italy trailing 17-6 at the break, then 24-6 quickly after following Argentina's best-looking try.
Carreras sent scrum ball high, Santiago Cordero took the catch over Italy fullback Matteo Minozzi, and the ball was spread left where flanker Pablo Matera put in center Matias Moroni.
Italy was 24-6 down, but in a rare period when passes stuck, it produced a try from a quick tap penalty when scrumhalf Stephen Varney scored off a ruck. Garbisi added the extras and a penalty and, though tighthead prop Marco Riccioni was carried off with a knee injury, Italy and its fans were feeling hopeful again.
Cordero ended that hope four minutes later.