Planet Rugby

Boks make it 11 unbeaten over England

24th November 2012 16:35

Share:

Duane Vermeulen england v SA

Powerhouse: Duane Vermeulen

South Africa saw off England with a 16-15 win on a grim Saturday at Twickenham, with a late rally from the hosts seeing them fall short.

Three penalties from Pat Lambie and a bizarre try from Willem Alberts handed the visitors the win, with Toby Flood and Owen Farrell accumulating five penalties between them.

England dominated territory and possession but were naive in attack, lacking direction and depth which made matters simple for the Springboks defence. Too often forwards were found in midfield when England needed a clinical line-breaker. The fact that Tom Youngs was the most effective Red Rose attacker said it all.

An interception break from Manu Tuilagi in the second half summed up their troubles perfectly; Chris Ashton choosing to not back his pace and ultimately seeing England plod forward into another turnover.

South Africa on the other hand were more patient, clinical and superior without anywhere near the same amount of possession - executing to greater effect when inside opposition territory in a replica performance from their victory over Ireland weeks earlier.

Controlling the line-out, they were spearheaded by the excellent Eben Etzebeth and made better use of their kicks to pin England back. Their scrum was also in the ascendancy as time ticked away, gaining the upper hand and reversing England's dominance from the first half.

Mike Brown's clean break in the opening minutes gave England valuable territory, with Toby Flood eventually converting a penalty after South Africa went offside near the posts.

Lambie tied the scores with his first kick of the afternoon but England regained the lead with a penalty from the game's first scrum, Flood returning to the field after being checked for concussion to grab the points.

A knock-on from Zane Kirchner inside his own 22 handed England an opportunity at the scrum - the returning Alex Corbisiero getting the edge over Jannie du Plessis - only for Flood to miss the simple kick wide to the right.

Persistent South African pressure in England's red zone then yielded a penalty for Lambie to give the visitors the lead for the first time at 6-9.

A fine offload from Joe Launchbury released Flood before Alex Goode burst upfield to bring Twickenham onto it's feet. But the chance was wasted after a grubber kick from Flood dribbled beyond the dead ball line. Key defence at the breakdown then helped both teams clear their lines before half-time.

The Springboks started the second half with a bang and after setting up camp in the England 22 scored a bizarre try. Ben Youngs' box kick ricocheted forward off JP Pietersen, with Tom Wood fumbling the ball which dropped into the hands of Alberts who burrowed over for the opening try.

Farrell replaced a wayward Flood and drew England within seven points with a penalty after 60 minutes and then added another as the match went into the closing stages, giving England a chance as they moved within four points.

Faced with a tough decision inside Springbok territory with two minutes left, Farrell brought England within a single point with another penalty kick rather than opting for the corner. Unable to win the restart, South Africa closed out the match and remain unbeaten in November.

Man of the match: One big performance from Eben Etzebeth, dominant in the skies and a joint top tackler with 16.

Moment of the match: England may well regret their decision for points over the corner as the clock ran out.

Villain of the match: Aimless kicking. It entertains nobody and transforms games from spectacles to duds.

The scorers:

For England:
Pen: Flood 2, Farrell 3

For South Africa:
Try: Alberts
Con: Lambie
Pen: Lambie 3

England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 David Wilson, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 James Haskell, 21 Danny Care, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Jonathan Joseph.

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Jaco Taute, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Television match official: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

By Ben Coles at Twickenham

@bencoles_

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins vs Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Preview
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs Wasps15:00
London Irish vs Bath15:00
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs Northampton13:00
London Welsh vs Leicester Tigers15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons vs MunsterDragons vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Preview
Connacht vs ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs Leinster14:30
Edinburgh vs Cardiff Blues16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester
Leicester 29 - 13 Sale SharksLeicester vs Sale Sharks Report
More LV= Cup results
International Match
Saturday , November 8
Italy 24 - 13 SamoaItaly vs Samoa Report
Wales 28 - 33 AustraliaWales vs Australia Report
England 21 - 24 New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand Report
Georgia 9 - 23 TongaGeorgia vs Tonga Report
Ireland 29 - 15 South AfricaIreland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720