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England dirt-trackers prevail

19th June 2012 20:09

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Nick Abendanon

Hat-trick: Nick Abendanon

England notched up a second victory on their tour of South Africa thanks to a 57-31 win over the SA Barbarians North in Potchefstroom.

The visitors crossed the whitewash on seven occassions with full-back Nick Abendanon bagging a hat-trick, whilst Jonny May touched down twice.

England number eight Ben Morgan and centre Anthony Allen also got their names on the scoresheet, while they also benefited from a penalty try and Charlie Hodgson scored 17 points.

However, the winning result for the tourists was marred by a serious injury to winger Ugo Monye who appeared to knock himself out in a tackle and had to be stretchered from the field.

England may have won by a convincing margin at Profert Olen Park but were given a tough workout by a South African scratch side who scored four tries themselves.

It was a bruising encounter for a side starting with two of the players involved in the second Test loss in Johannesburg last weekend in Morgan and Lee Dickson.

The Northern Barbarians started at a high pace and were first on the board courtesy of a penalty by full-back JC Roos in the sixth minute. However it was not long before veteran fly-half Hodgson leveled the scores.

The hosts kept putting England under immense pressure but good defence from the visitors denied the Baa-Baas, until centre Joubert Engelbrecht scored a try in the corner set up by captain JW Jonker.

England were jolted awake and it was not long before Abendanon went over for the visitors' opening try of the match after some good attacking play. Hodgson converted to again level the scores (10-10).

England took the lead for the first time in the 23rd minute after Morgan powered his way over for a converted try, before play was interrupted for about six minutes with Monye being carried of the field with a neck injury.

The lapse in play resulted in a break in concentration and some sloppy handling followed.

Winger Christian Wade - who scored a hat-trick against the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley last week - almost dotted down on the half-hour mark, only to be bumped out on the corner flag.

Abendanon then scored his second five-pointer of the evening after showcasing some fancy footwork, and was at it again just before half-time. Hodgson converted to give his side a 31-10 at the break.

The break halted England's momentum and the Barbarians finally scored in the 53rd minute when scrum-half Shaun Venter dummied and dived over for a converted try.

After England flank Jamie Gibson was yellow-carded for a late tackle, it left the visitors one man short and Venter went over for his second try.

England regained the upper hand when replacement Johnny May went over in the corner. May then bagged his brace which Hodgson duly converted, before Allen also found his way to the tryline as the wheels came off for the home side in the last ten minutes.

Winger Deon Scholtz scored a consolation try for the South African side near the end, but England had the last laugh when referee Mark Lawrence awarded a penalty try to the visitors on the final whistle.

The scorers:

For SA Barbarians North:
Tries: Engelbrecht, Scholtz, Venter 2
Cons: Roos 4
Pens: Roos

For England:
Tries: Abendanon 3, Allen, May 2, Morgan, Penalty try
Cons: Hodgson 7
Pens: Hodgson

SA Barbarians (North): 15 JC Roos, 14 Danwel Demas, 13 JW Jonker (c), 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Deon Scholtz, 10 Coenie van Wyk ,9 Shaun Venter, 8 Nicky Steyn, 7 MB Lusaseni, 6 Jaco Bouwer, 5 Rudi Mathee, 4 Eduan van der Walt, 3 Ashley Buys ,2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 BG Uys.
Replacements: 16 Pellow van der Westhuizen, 17 Zane Kilian, 18 Boela Serfontein, 19 Martin Sithole, 20 Andries Mahoney, 21 Hoffman Maritz, 22 Tertius Maarman.

England: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Anthony Allen, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 George Robson (c) 4 Graham Kitchener, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Rupert Harden, 18 Mouritz Botha, 19 James Haskell, 20 Karl Dickson, 21 David Strettle, 22 Jonny May.

Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)

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