England suffers narrow 15-16 loss to South Africa at Twickenham

25/11/2012 no comments »
England suffers narrow 15-16 loss to South Africa  at Twickenham

England suffered an agonisingly narrow defeat at the hands of the Springboks as they lost 15-16 at Twickenham. This defeat means England have not beaten South Africa in 11 meetings and England has put their hope of a top 4 finish in the world rankings for the draw of the 2015 World Cup aside.

England took the game to the Springboks from the start and Toby Flood put them 3-0 up with a simple penalty and soon after doubled the lead to 6-0. South Africa slowly came back into the game, and scored 3 penalties through Pat Lambie to go in at half-time 9-6. Both England and South Africa looked to take the game by the scruff of the neck and take control. South Africa was lucky to be ahead at half time after England missed a few penalties, but their real luck came at the start of the second half. Ben Young’s’ attempted hack clear bounced off JP Pietersen and bounced into the path of Alberts, just a yard from the line as he pounced and scored. With Pat Lambie converting, England was 16-6 down and not looking at all likely to pull it back. With the line-out not working and the scrum advantage levelling out England looked likely to concede a lot more and be on the end of an embarrassing defeat. However, the boot of Owen Farrell got the ball rolling after strings of mistakes and mis-handling. With 18 minutes to go, England was 16-9 down. Eden Etzebeth was outstanding for South Africa in defence. With time running out, the 81,000 spectators cheering on England found a new sense of belief, and spurred on the England team to mount attack after attack. This forced an error by the Springboks and let in Farrell for another penalty kick, to make it 16-12. With South Africa clearly rattled, England could smell victory. England was facing a wall of green as they tried to make in roads, and eventually gained a penalty. Captain Robshaw instructed Farrell to kick for 3 points, which was greeted with boos from the crowd. With the restart kicked and the scored 16-15, the Springboks found just that little bit more for the final 2 minutes and held on to the win. As the final whistle went, England fell to their knees as they were narrowly defeated. Robshaw after the game admitted his mistakes but has been backed to stay on as captain. Stuart Lancaster was left frustrated by the narrow defeat, and will be hoping his team can perform a lot better when the six nations come around in 2013.

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