Summary: England and Wales enjoyed clean sweeps on their summer tours, while Scotland won two before losing to a strong and determined Fiji team.
England, Wales and Scotland have now wrapped up their summer rugby tours with largely positive results.
With a dominant 24-6 win over Tonga and a competitive 19-17 victory over Samoa, Wales newcomer Steff Evans put in dominant performances on the wing, especially against Samoa, where his two tries helped to secure the win.
England defeated Argentina with 35-25 and 38-34 scorelines, while Scotland beat Italy 34-13 and Australia 24-19 but couldn’t complete the clean sweep after a 27-22 loss to Fiji.
Let’s take a look at the results in closer detail:
After a triumphant Six Nations, all eyes were on England as they headed to Argentina to consolidate their place as the number-two team in the world behind New Zealand.
The first game was capped off by Denny Solomona’s outstanding solo try, which secured a hard-fought victory that looked to be out of reach after a drop-goal from Juan Martin Hernandez.
While the margin in the first test was tighter than coach Eddie Jones would have hoped, it was an encouraging win considering the match-day 23 included 11 uncapped players.
In the second test, England played with considerably more confidence as the boot of George Ford contributed 15 points, alongside tries from Charlie Ewels, Piers Francis, Danny Care and Will Collier.
Although the victory won’t receive the same attention as the Six Nations win, it is a landmark achievement. Even with an inexperienced squad, England were able to complete only their second series victory in Argentina.
Scotland started their summer tour in style with a 34-13 win over Italy, with Gregor Townsend celebrating his first match in charge with a dominant victory.
The game seemed over at half-time, as tries from Ali Price and Tim Visser helped the Scots create a 15-3 half-time lead. Ross Ford then scored twice in the second half, leaving it to Damien Hoyland to put his first international try on the board and put the result beyond doubt.
Australia offered a tougher test, but a steely defence helped Scotland secure a landmark win, with Finn Russell constantly posing a threat in attack. A try from Australia’s Will Genia lined up a close finish until Hamish Watson dove in to close the game for the Scots.
After such a promising result, it was disappointing that Scotland couldn’t complete their clean sweep as Fiji simply proved to be too strong. While tries from Ross Ford, Ruaridh Jackson and Fraser Brown made the tie close, Ben Volavola's 17 points and tries from Peceli Yato and Henry Seniloli put the game beyond them.
Wales bounce back to beat Tonga and Samoa
Wales were looking to make a return to form on their summer tour after a disappointing Six Nations that saw them finish just ahead of last-placed Italy.
With this in mind, there was some pressure going into their first test against Tonga in New Zealand. Ultimately, it was a routine 24-6 victory thanks to an outstanding performance from wing Alex Cuthbert. Fly-half Sam Davies even missed three kicks, but was still able to convert four to cap off a straightforward win.
However, Samoa were always destined to be a tougher opponent and they lived up to their billing. Tries from Alapati Leiua and Maatulimanu Leiataua left Robin McBryde’s men trailing with just a few minutes to go, but Steff Evans broke through the defence to score a dramatic winning try.
This young Wales team certainly has some way to go, but the two spirited victories are sure to instil more confidence after a poor Six Nations.