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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 June 2007, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
South Africa 55-22 England
By Rob Hodgetts

South Africa winger Bryan Habana
Bryan Habana capped off the win with a glorious individual try
South Africa (17) 55
Tries: Januarie, Burger, Botha, Spies (2), Habana (2), Montgomery
Cons: Montgomery (5), James
Pens: Montgomery

England (19) 22
Tries: Scarbrough
Cons: Wilkinson
Pens: Wilkinson (5)

South Africa completed a 55-22 victory despite a valiant effort by a severely under-strength England in the second and final Test in Pretoria.

The Springboks ran in eight tries and turned the screw in the second half after England led 19-17 at half-time.

Ricky Januarie and Schalk Burger gave the Boks an early lead but a resilient England hit back with a Dan Scarbrough try and 14 points from Jonny Wilkinson.

But the home side went for the kill after the break to win the series 2-0.

"If someone said before these Tests we would have two 50-pointers we would have signed on the dotted line," said Springbok captain John Smit, after South Africa won the first Test 58-10 in Bloemfontein.

The desire and energy was massive, but a couple of rash decisions and some mistakes put us in the wrong areas of the field

Jonny Wilkinson

Despite the scoreline, England skipper Wilkinson was proud of his makeshift side, which was missing more than 30 senior players and hampered by further injuries and illness on tour.

"The desire and energy was massive, but the cumulative effect of a couple of rash decisions and some mistakes puts you in the wrong areas of the field," he said.

"It was really up to us to shape the second half, but we were soon back to square one and the energy levels dropped off."

The two sides next meet in the World Cup group stages in Paris on 14 September.

England looked pensive during the anthems, and South Africa's first penalty attempt after just 40 seconds hinted at the inevitability of a repeat of the Bloemfontein scoreline.

But full-back Percy Montgomery missed his kick, and though he found the target four minutes later, Wilkinson cancelled it out as England harried and hustled and prevented the Springboks from settling.

Dan Scarbrough
Scarbrough's try gave England an unlikely half-time lead

The home side's approach was sloppier and more error-strewn than last week, while England's scrummage was stout and the midfield defence solid.

England could even have gone ahead on 17 minutes but Wilkinson uncharacteristically scuffed his penalty effort.

But Brian Ashton's side were hit by a hammer blow shortly after when Springbok scrum-half Januarie gathered his own chip over the top, courtesy of an advantageous bounce, for the opening score.

England, though, stuck to their task and Wilkinson closed the gap five minutes later before South Africa struck again when Burger burrowed over from a close-range scrum.

Burger's score gave South Africa a 17-6 lead but instead of damage limitation, England cut the deficit with two more Wilkinson three-pointers, either side of a yellow card for Springbok winger Bryan Habana, who was ruled to have deliberately knocked-on.

And the visitors ended the half with a bang when wing Scarbrough intercepted a loose pass from number eight Pierre Spies and raced 60m to score, with Wilkinson's conversion giving England an unlikely lead at the break.


South Africa, though, thundered into England soon after the re-start and a flowing, powerful 15-man move put lock Bakkies Botha over in the right corner.

England drew level with another Wilkinson penalty, but from then on South Africa stretched clear.

Spies began the charge when he ran through scrum-half Andy Gomarsall and shrugged off three more England tackles to score under the posts.

Sensing their prey was buckling, the Boks struck with a Habana interception in his own half, a try from a line-break by Montgomery, a scintillating solo effort from Habana again and a second for the athletic Spies.

South Africa: Montgomery; A Ndungane, Olivier, De Villiers, Habana; James, Januarie; Steenkamp, Smit (capt), Van der Linde, Botha, Matfield, Burger, Smith, Spies.
Replacements: Carstens, Botha, Muller, Skinstad, Pienaar, Steyn, Willemse.

England: M Brown; Noon, Tait, Flood, Scarbrough; Wilkinson (capt), Gomarsall; Yates, Regan, Stevens, Winters, A Brown, Easter, Lund, Skirving.
Replacements: Titterrell, Turner, Schofield, Jones, Perry, Allen, Abendanon.

South Africa v England photos
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02 Jun 07 |  Rugby Union
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01 Jun 07 |  Rugby Union
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26 May 07 |  English


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