England did enough to beat a physical Samoa 28-9 at Twickenham, ending a five-game losing run and giving coach Stuart Lancaster food for thought ahead of next week's tougher test against Australia.
Winger Jonny May scored two tries with Mike Brown also crossing the line as England showed some flashes of brilliance, with 21-year-old flyhalf George Ford, in his first start, behind most of them.
The forwards were as impressive as ever, particularly man of the match Chris Robshaw, the captain's tally of 21 tackles being almost double any of his team mates.
England, sporting a new kit of red shirts and black shorts, seemed unsure what tactics to use in difficult wet conditions in a game scheduled for the evening as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup.
The Samoans had threatened to boycott Saturday's match in a desperate bid to bring their union to the table to address a host of concerns and England's players showed their appreciation and solidarity by joining their traditional post-match prayer.
SCOTLAND OVERPOWER TONGA
Scotland ran in five tries and conceded none to record an emphatic 37-12 win over Tonga at Kilmarnock's Rugby Park, their second victory in three November test matches.
Flanker Blair Cowan, fullback Stuart Hogg, centre Alex Dunbar, prop Geoff Cross and wing Tommy Seymour scored the tries and halfback Greig Laidlaw kicked 12 points as Scotland avenged a 21-15 defeat by the Pacific Islanders two years ago.
First-five Latiume Fosita converted four penalties, punishing Scottish maul infringements, for Tonga who led 12-7 after half an hour before Hogg's breakaway try gave the home side a 14-12 halftime lead.
Scotland began the test window with a 41-31 win over Argentina before losing to New Zealand 24-16 last weekend.
Tonga were fresh from wins over Georgia and the United States.
ARGENTINA UPSET FRANCE
Argentina confirmed they are a bete noir for France when they play in Paris by kicking four drop goals, including three by flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez, for an 18-13 upset victory on Saturday.
The Pumas had lost on their three previous visits to France but made it three straight wins in the capital after twice beating the hosts at the 2007 World Cup where they came third.
France, fresh from a 40-15 win over Fiji followed by a 29-26 victory over Australia, fought back in the second half and scored the only try through centre Wesley Fofana.
But, having changed ends 15-3 down, they found the Argentine defence too strong and did not get enough breaks to turn the match their way despite more possession.
Argentina, who have won three of their last four tests, stunned the French with three drop goals in the first half, including one from centre Juan Martin Hernandez, and two penalties by Sanchez, who finished with a tally of 15 points.
It was an encouraging year-ending result for Argentina who secured their maiden Rugby Championship win against Australia in October, then lost 41-31 to Scotland and beat Italy 20-18 in their two previous tour tests.
SOUTH AFRICA THWART ITALY
The Springboks were too strong for Italy at Padua's at Stadio Euganeo comfortably beating the Azzurri 22-6