Smith sees England to thrilling win over Springboks

England fashioned fine tries for Manu Tuilagi, Freddie Steward and Raffi Quirke to just one from South Africa's Makazole Mapimpi.

England's Max Malins (L) and England's wing Joe Marchant (R) vie with South Africa's Elton Jantjies (C) during the Autumn International friendly rugby union match between England and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium, south-west London, on November 20, 2021. Picture: Glyn Kirk / AFP.

TWICKENHAM - Marcus Smith held his nerve with a 79th-minute penalty as England edged out world champions South Africa 27-26 in a thrilling clash at Twickenham on Saturday.

England fashioned fine tries for Manu Tuilagi, Freddie Steward and Raffi Quirke to just one from South Africa's Makazole Mapimpi.

But in what was the teams' first meeting since South Africa beat England in the 2019 World Cup final in Japan, the hosts' poor indiscipline meant they gave away multiple penalties and with just over a minute left South Africa led 26-24.

But, with the Springboks already a man down following skipper Siya Kolisi's 75th-minute yellow card, they conceded a kickable penalty from in front of the posts just 26 metres out.

Fly-half Smith, still a Test novice, made no mistake and England, who finished a lowly fifth in this year's Six Nations, then saw out the game to complete an autumn series clean sweep following previous wins over Tonga and Australia.