England fly-half George Ford kicked all of his side’s points as they beat Argentina 27-10 at Stade de Marseille on Saturday, despite playing almost the entire match with 14 players.
England flanker Tom Curry was shown a yellow card, later upgraded to red following a review, after a head clash with Argentina full-back Juan Cruz Mallia in the third minute of the Pool D match.
However, Ford kicked six penalties and three drop goals as Steve Borthwick’s side made a big statement at Rugby World Cup 2023 with their victory in Marseille.
Ford, the Mastercard Player of the Match, praised the England forward pack for creating the field positions from which he could launch his drop goals, which he admitted were always going to be part of his team's armoury.
"It's always planned," said Ford. "It's a great weapon for us, especially when the ball's a bit greasy.
"We went a man down early on and we had to come away with as many points as possible when we had field position. We managed to do that."
'Pretty much everything' goes wrong for Argentina
Courtney Lawes, the England flanker, also gave credit to the battling forwards.
"Coley (Dan Cole) and Gengey (Ellis Genge) and Jinksy (Jamie George), the front three, unbelievable," he said.
"They really were the cornerstone of our game today, won loads of penalties and with penalties come territory and come points - basically won us the game."
Argentina head coach Michael Cheika was frustrated that his team could not take advantage of their numerical superiority.
He said: "There was almost no play. There were so many stoppages. The play we did get we didn't master every well. That was by design by the other team. They did it very well. They put us in that corner.
"Pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I think we let the play get too stop and start. England played the circumstances very well and full credit to them."