England ran in three first-half tries but faded after the interval on the way to a 31-12 win over Argentina at a gloomy Twickenham.
Lock Joe Launchbury, centre Billy Twelvetrees and winger Chris Ashton crossed the line to put the hosts, bristling with attacking intent, 24-6 ahead at half-time.
England, who beat Australia 20-13 last Saturday, struggled to maintain their momentum and Nicolas Sanchez kicked two penalties to reduce the deficit for the Pumas.
But England replacement No.8 Ben Morgan stormed over with a barrelling 20-metre run late on and the hosts completed a comfortable win to put themselves in good heart for next week’s game against world champions New Zealand.
“Overall there were plenty of positives,” England coach Stuart Lancaster said. “We started very brightly, our intent was good and our accuracy but we fell away in the second half.”
After stand-offs Owen Farrell and Sanchez had exchanged early penalties, the England forwards started to dominate. They twice went close and a third driving maul enabled Launchbury to touch down for the first try. England tried to run the ball at every opportunity and following another spell of pressure, centre Twelvetrees carved his way over, Farrell’s conversion stretching the hosts’ lead to 17-6.
England won another lineout five metres from the Argentina line, Farrell’s slick pass released winger Ashton to touch down in the right corner and the fly-half kicked a difficult conversion to extend the lead to 24-6.
Alex Corbisiero replaced Joe Marler at prop after the interval and England started the half by conceding two sloppy penalties which Sanchez kicked.
Argentina centre Marcelo Bosch missed a penalty that would have cut the lead to nine points but England rallied in the closing stages, Morgan bursting through a tired defence and surging over the line to send the crowd home happy.