England got their revenge from the 2019 World Cup Final beating South Africa 27-26 at Twickenham on Saturday.
It was the first time the two sides have faced off since the final over 2 years ago, with Eddie Jones’ men putting their defeat behind them and overcoming South Africa with a 79th minute Marcus Smith penalty.
The match concludes England’s final match of 2021 as well as a successful Autumn Internationals which saw 3 wins from 3.
How it happened
England got off to a bright start, testing the South African defence early on before scoring the opening try in the 6th minute.
Following a line-out on the right, the attack built quickly as Henry Slide received the ball with two men over. Jesse Kriel stepped up to try to disrupt Slade, but the 13 offloaded a long pass to Manu Tuilagi who took the ball over the line for the first try of the game. Marcus Smith scored the conversion.
Tuilagi injured himself in the move, forcing an early replacement with Saracens’ Max Malins coming on.
South Africa clawed 3 points back through the boot of Handre Pollard after Jonny May was called off guard from a long bouncing ball, resulting in a penalty from a knock-on.
England responded well, scoring their 2nd try of the game minutes later.
Again the ball was worked from side to side quickly, releasing replacement Max Malins on the right who gained considerable yards. The attack was briefly thwarted by the Springboks, but Ben Youngs released the ball to Freddie Steward who powered the ball over the line for the 2nd time in as many weeks. Smith scored the conversion once again, stretching the lead to 14-3.
After an action-packed starts the rest of the half turned bitty with ill-discipline leading to multiple penalties. Pollard scored all 3 of South Africa’s remaining penalties in the half whilst Smith scored England’s, leading to a 17-12 half-time lead for Eddie Jones’ men.
After the interval, the Bok’s quickly brought on their “Bomb Squad” as they looked to increase the pressure on England’s front line.
South Africa managed to win 2 quick penalties in the first 8 minutes of the second half, but Pollard missed the mark on both, allowing England to retain their lead.
Pollard scored his next penalty and with South Africa on the ascendancy, a try looked inevitable. Max Malins was called upon to make a superb try-line tackle, ripping the ball from the Bok’s as they sought to touch the ball down in the 59th minute.
Hooker Nic Dolly made his international debut on the hour mark, rewarded for his strong start to the season with the Leicester Tigers.
South Africa took their first lead of the game in the 63rd minute, scoring yet another penalty to take the score to 18-17.
England once again responded well to a South Africa score, setting Raffi Quirke free for the home side’s 3rd try of the game. A good pass from Slade allowed Joe Marchant to break through the Springbok’s line, offloading to Quirke who ran through to score. Smith’s conversion made the score 24-18
Will Stuart was sent to the sin bin in the 67th minute for an accumulation of fouls by England, whose ill-discipline plagued them all game.
South Africa took advantage, switching the play quickly to Makazole Mapimpi who run the ball over the line, exploiting the extra man. A missed conversion kept the Boks behind with the score at 24-23 heading into the final 10 minutes.
💥 “He just cannot stop scoring tries!” It’s @Makazole16, of course!— Springboks (@Springboks) November 21, 2021
🎥 Full highlights: https://t.co/knVApYYNcw#StrongerTogether #StrongerForever #ENGvRSA #CastleOutgoingTour pic.twitter.com/iSaamBvC4p
Frans Steyn scored a 73rd-minute penalty for South Africa to put them up 26-24.
But for all of the home side’s ill-discipline, it was South Africa who would make the final mistake, giving away a penalty on the floor with just a minute left of the clock. Marcus Smith stepped up and cooly kicked right down the middle of the posts to win a tense game for England 27-26.