England manager Martin Johnson was a relieved man as his side came from behind to beat Argentina 13-9 in their World Cup opener at the Otago Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday.
The Pumas were 9-3 in front heading into the final quarter and on course for a win to match their shock victory over then hosts France in the first match of the 2007 World Cup.
But England, bidding to reach a third straight World Cup Final, hit back with the only try of the match when replacement scrumhalf Ben Youngs crossed 13 minutes from time.
Jonny Wilkinson who, extraordinarily, missed five of his eight goalkicks, then landed a penalty that gave England a four-point lead.
Even then, England had to withstand a last-ditch Argentina counter-attack from a Pumas team that had played just one Test in the last 11 months before closing out victory.
Johnson commented: "We said these games are about finding a away to win in difficult circumstances. We could have got very frustrated but we found a way to win.
"In '07 France would have bitten your arm off to have won. It was frustrating but in the circumstances it was a fantastic win. Look at Scotland and France (pushed close by Romania and Japan respectively before winning their opening matches earlier Saturday), they had to work hard," said the England boss.
England repeatedly found themselves getting on the wrong side of Kiwi referee Bryce Lawrence, conceding eight penalties, mainly for breakdown offences, in the first half alone, and seeing tighthead prop Dan Cole yellow-carded.
"Some of them I'd like to look at in detail," said Johnson. "Clearly, it could be a lot better. If you get behind the count, the ref gets on your back a bit, I'd like to look at the detail.
"Some were clumsy, some were a bit harsh, it was difficult," the second row great explained.
England captain Mike Tindall, a 2003 World Cup-winner, was pleased by the team's composure, with no black mood descending upon his side to match their controversial change strip.
"The good thing was that nothing seemed to be going right but nobody panicked," said the centre, leading England in the absence of injured flank Lewis Moody.
"We stuck to our jobs, as a captain the best thing for me was that everyone kept plugging away."
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