England go into Test series with Argentina on the back of victory
Last Updated: 03/06/13 4:17am
Billy Vunipola scored a six-minute hat-trick as England completed their preparations for the Test series against Argentina with a 41-21 victory over a South American XV.
Ben Foden touched down twice and there were tries for captain Tom Wood and replacement prop Paul Doran-Jones as England recovered from a poor start to win in Montevideo.
England head to Salta for their first Test against the Pumas on the back of a seven-try win but the performance was not without its flaws, particularly a sloppy first quarter.
The CONSUR XV - a side comprised of players from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil - should have been 6-0 up after nine minutes but Argentinian fly-half Benjamin Madero hooked two simple penalty kicks wide of the posts.
England finally paid for a series of mistakes when the CONSUR XV were awarded a penalty try and Jonny May sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on.
That was the wake-up call England needed. Despite being down to 14 men, they hit back immediately with Foden collecting a pass from Stephen Myler and stretching over in the corner.
England tightened up their game, throwing fewer chancy off-loads and turning to their forward pack, with Vunipola scoring twice in quick succession from powerful lineout drives.
Vunipola then crashed through a weak tackle to complete his hat-trick after some sharp creative play from May and Kyle Eastmond, who looked promising in midfield.
Wood rounded off a half of two halves, finishing from close range as England rattled up 31 points in just 21 minutes to take firm control of the match.
CONSUR made a lively start to the second half, with scrum-half Tomas Cubelli collecting a neat off-load from Rotherham centre Juan Socino to score under the posts.
Exeter flanker Tom Johnson did his chances of starting the first Test at openside flanker no harm and his barnstorming run, followed by a charge for the line from Kearnan Myall, created Foden's second try.
Doran-Jones, who came off the bench for Henry Thomas, scored from close range but the CONSUR XV played right to the end and forced England into long periods of defence.
Uruguayan replacement Diego Magno powered over for a third CONSUR try and England lost prop Alex Corbisiero to the sin-bin after he conceded two scrum penalties in quick succession.