England beat world champs South Africa at Twickenham

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Marcus Smith slotted a final minute penalty that saw England beat the world champion Springboks 27-26 at Twickenham.

England got off to a quick start, as probing kicks from Ben Youngs and Marcus Smith edged the hosts deep into Springbok territory.

One of which was taken back over South Africa’s line, handing England the first scrum of the match, and moments later the first penalty of the match – much to the delight of England’s front row.

Eddie Jones’ men continued to apply the pressure and on the 7-minute mark, after a few successful phases, Youngs spread the ball wide through the hands of Smith and Henry Slade, to Manu Tuilagi on the left flank, who went over in the corner.

Smith added the extras, but Tuilagi was injured in the process of scoring, and was replaced by Max Malins. The Saracen went to wing, and Joe Marchant shifted to outside centre.

Handre Pollard pulled South Africa back into the game with a simple three-pointer moments later, but Freddie Steward extended England’s lead after bulldozing his way over from close range for England’s second score. Smith’s kick was good.

As half time approached, the fly halves battled it out with boot, a trio of Pollard penalties was answered with one from Smith making it 17-12 at the break.

It took 13 minutes of second half action for Pollard to take his personal tally to 15, courtesy of another penalty, reducing the deficit to two.

And the Springboks took the lead for the first time on the 63-minute mark, England giving away a penalty in front of the sticks, and Elton Jantjies duly converting.

But England immediately took back control of the Test, off a 40-metre lineout, Slade put Marchant through a gap in the Springbok defence. The Harlequin squared up Frans Steyn and lifted a pass into the onrushing Raffi Quirke, who scored his first Test try. Smith converted.

England’s ill discipline continued, and Will Stuart was sent to the sin bin. The penalty count began to mount, which led to South Africa’s first try of the match on the 70-minute mark, scored by Makazole Mapimpi. 

Jantjies missed the conversion, but Steyn slotted another penalty minutes later, and the Boks led 26-24. 

Siya Kolisi was yellow carded in the 75th minute for a tackle in the air, and in the final moments of the game England forced a penalty in front of the sticks. Smith stepped up and knocked it over, making it 27-26, and handing England victory.

TEAMS

England

Starters

1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Jamie Blamire, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Courtney Lawes, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Tom Curry, 9. Ben Youngs, 10. Marcus Smith, 11. Jonny May, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 13. Henry Slade, 14. Joe Marchant, 15. Freddie Steward.

Finishers

16. Nic Dolly, 17. Joe Marler, 18. Will Stuart, 19. Charlie Ewels, 20. Sam Simmonds, 21. Alex Dombrandt, 22. Raffi Quirke, 23. Max Malins.

South Africa

Starters

1. Ox Nche, 2. Bongi Mbonambi, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Lood De Jager, 6. Siya Kolisi (c), 7. Kwagga Smith, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 9. Cobus Reinach, 10. Handre Pollard, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 12. Damian De Allende, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 14. Jesse Kriel, 15. Willie Le Roux. 

Replacements

16. Malcolm Marx, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Vincent Koch, 19. Franco Mostert, 20. Jasper Wiese, 21. Herschel Jantjies, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Frans Steyn.

Source: England Rugby

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