England edge impotent Boks at Twickenham
Even with the numerical advantage, the Boks continued to squander the opportunities they created with a ball in hand.
JOHANNESBURG - England beat an error-ridden Springboks side 12-11 at Twickenham for their second consecutive win over South Africa in 2018.
The Springboks started the match in dominant fashion, bossing the territory and possession stats. But a plethora of unforced errors prevented them from turning their dominance into valuable points on the scoreboard.
They did, however, open the scoring through the boot of Handre Pollard who knocked over a penalty goal inside the first 10 minutes of the game. Then the South Africans camped deep inside the English half, applying consistent pressure in a physical display at the set pieces and break down area.
Their dominance was so evident it put the English under enormous pressure. Australian referee Angus Gardner, who was handling the whistle for the second Springbok Test match in a row after he blew the humdinger of a Test between the All Blacks a month ago, showed a yellow card for lock Maro Itoje who was pinged for bringing down a well set Springbok maul on the 5m line.
Even with the numerical advantage, the Boks continued to squander the opportunities they created with a ball in hand, with unnecessary handling errors creeping into their game.
They did, however, cross the try line through Sharks winger Sbu Nkosi in the right-hand touchline after some beautiful quick hands by Lions duo, Aphiwe Dyantyi who found himself on the opposite wing and Warren Whiteley, put Nkosi through for his third Springbok career try.
Owen Farrel then slotted a penalty to narrow the deficit to just two points as the Boks took a slender 8-6 lead into the halftime break.
The Boks’ inaccuracy and impotency continued in the second half, more especially in the lineouts where World Rugby Player of the Year nominee, Malcolm Marx continued to struggle.
England eventually took the lead through Elliot Daly’s monstrous penalty kick from halfway line, nudging ahead by 9-8 with 25 mins to go in the encounter.
As the tactical arm struggle ensued in the second half, the points were few and far between. Pollard and Farrel exchanged two penalties each but England sneaked ahead for a 12-11 margin with a few minutes to go.
There would be late drama at Twickenham, as Farrel’s supposed no arms tackle on Andre Esterhuizen was deemed legal by referee Gardner which ensured England a 12-11 win over the Boks.
The loss is the Boks’ third away loss in 10 Test matches this year and they next face France at the Stade France next weekend.