England fightback in vain
Ben Youngs registered two tries as England lost in Johannesburg
England slipped to a 36-27 loss and a series defeat in South Africa despite a stirring second-half fightback in the second Test in Johannesburg.
Ben Youngs crossed twice as England put themselves in sight of an unlikely victory after trailing 28-10 to the dominant Springboks, but JP Pietersen ended the comeback at Coca-Cola Park.
England ultimately paid the price for a poor start as Willem Alberts, Bismarck du Plessis and Francois Hougaard claimed early tries for the physically imposing hosts. The tourists' other points came from Toby Flood, who impressed on his recall with a first-half try and five successful goal kicks. The defeat was England's ninth in succession to South Africa.
England's start was still a dismal and ultimately costly one as they saw little of the ball in the opening three minutes. Alberts made one good break before Bryan Habana found space on the left. Ben Morgan thwarted the winger but England made a costly error at the resulting scrum as the ball was allowed to run clean through the channel.
Alberts saw the loose ball roll out and gleefully gathered to dart over. South Africa powered forward again and hooker Du Plessis barged his way through to spin and touch down. A try was awarded after video adjudication and converted by Morne Steyn.
England finally registered with a Flood penalty but it came from a rare foray into the Springbok half and the hosts replied in kind. Morne Steyn added a penalty before Hougaard broke the line with some neat footwork to score a third. Steyn pushed the score out to 22-3.
England claimed their first try midway through the first half as Youngs took a quick tap penalty to release Chris Ashton, who sent Flood clear. The number 10 converted his own try but Morne Steyn soon added a long-range drop goal. It could have got even worse for England as Pietersen failed to take a pass from Jean de Villiers with the try line at his mercy.
Powerful charges from Alberts and Eben Etzebeth looked certain to yield another try but England somehow held out. They did not escape without damage as captain Chris Robshaw was penalised and Morne Steyn added another three points but England refused to lie down.
In the 52nd minute an overthrown Springbok lineout found its way into Youngs' hands. The scrum-half broke for the line and managed to get the ball down for a try awarded after lengthy deliberation. Flood's conversion brought the score to a more respectable 28-17 but Morne Steyn then helped himself to another penalty goal.
A drive by substitute Alex Corbisiero then allowed Youngs to pinch the ball and dive through a gap for his second try, Flood adding the extras before chipping further away at the lead with another penalty. But South Africa neatly worked the ball along the line and Pietersen flamboyantly dived over for the decisive try seven minutes from time.
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first half england sluggish,second half different team ,still a good performance by england against
the most pysical team in the world,,
well done england looking really good ,,,
can not wait for the six nations ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
to be honest if your team was as good as you think they are why
are you allowing us to keep putting trys passed you and only loosing
by a few points??????? england are a new set up and are still causing
you problems ..........come on what other excuses are you gonna come out
with ???? its going to be interesting when you come up against the all blacks.lol
....as long as the team improves ?!
they have taken massive steps backwards !
or rather they are not nearly as good as the Six Nations seemed to imply !
Lancaster is a very good coach.
but to be honest: what has he actually got to work with ?
the English scrum is in shambles. the Line-outs are a disaster. the backline so-so at best !
and this against a thrown together Springbok team full of young and inexperienced players with a new Coach, new team, new Captain and a lot of unavailable/injured players !
take the U21 side, build your new team around them and rebuild from scratch.
and then in a few years- maybe !
another old problem: always a lot of talk before the Game and afterwards lots of excuses and living in denial !
be brutal and honest. reflect, wield the axe and get some real rebuilding going !
I mean: Flood in and out(and is he really the best England has to offer?!)
Morgan exposed for what he really is average at best( and that all of a sudden only for one half ?!)
Tuilagi on inside Centre ?! who ever thought THAT is going to work !
without space he is easily stopped and neutralised !
the only 3 players of note:
Young(exciting player who unfortunately does not see enough of the ball !
Robshaw( but only in the absence of Schalk Burger and/or Brussouw)
Botha (another Mercenary !)