And, so it proved in Rosario on Wednesday evening as England couldn't quite open up an unassailable lead despite a fine first half try from Jamie Gibson as Ireland put pressure on the set piece and looked dangerous when they had possession.
However, Ireland scored on the stroke of half time to make the second half more than interesting and it was all still to play for when Burns made his entrance.
And the 20 year old Gloucester fly half enhanced his reputation for making things happen as he scored two tries to make the game safe for England.
The first was an instinctive show and go followed by a neat step off his right foot as he spotted a prop lurking in the backline and took full advantage to jink clear and dive over for a key try.
Then, as Ireland fought to get back into the game, Burns picked off a speculative pass in midfield and comfortably outpaced the Irish cover to run the ball in from his own 22 and put the game to bed.
With Tom Homer contributing 21 points from the boot, England now lead the pool with 9 points although a winner takes all encounter with France for a semi final place could be on the horizon.