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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 May 2007, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
S Africa v England as it happened
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ALLTHE ACTION (ALL TIMES BST)

By Ben Dirs

80 mins: CONVERSION South Africa 58-10 England Montgomery kicks the extras and there's the siren - England were quite simply outpaced, outmuscled and outwitted. Or, as the South African press might have it tomorrow morning - pasted, plastered and very nearly whitewashed.

78 mins: TRY South Africa 56-10 England That's try number seven, Pienaar creating the space with some fancy footwork and Van der Linde trundling over unopposed in the corner. It's reached drubbing territory, England out on their feet.

76 mins: CONVERSION South Africa 51-10 England Montgomery takes South Africa past the 50 mark and this is by far their biggest win over England, surpassing the 35-9 victory in Johannesburg in 1984.

75 mins: TRY South Africa 49-10 England Montgomery makes the break down the left-flank, chips through and Habana outpaces Robinson and is first down on the ball. England are being bullied here, this is brutal stuff.

73 mins: TRY South Africa 44-10 England Pienaar scythes through the England midfield and flips the ball out to Steyn, who waltzes over in the right-hand corner. Montgomery misses the extras.

71 mins: For a horrible moment, it looks as though Wilkinson's shoulder has gone again, but he climbs to his feet and makes his way from the field on his own steam. Team-mate Winters it was who did the damage, clattering Wilko slap-bang in the face.

70 mins: CONVERSION South Africa 37-10 England Montgomery kicks the two-pointer as Wilkinson receives treatment.

69 mins: TRY South Africa 35-10 England Steyn steps past Sanderson and is tackled well by Brown. The ball is flipped to Spies from the back of the resulting ruck, the big man makes the hit-up and Burger burrows over.

67 mins: Wilkinson's attempted clearance is charged down by James, but the England fly-half scrambles back and helps prevent the try.

65 mins: Burger slips one tackle and is allowed to carry the ball 20 metres too far. Although lateral, it sets up good position for South Africa.

62 mins: CONVERSION South Africa 30-10 England Wilkinson slots the extras and England are making a good fist of things in this second half - not much craft, but plenty of grunt.

61 mins: TRY South Africa 30-8 England Good spunk from England, Simpson-Daniel touching down in the right-hand corner. Flood it was with holding pass and Tait with the killer ball. Bit easy that, though, for England, the ball simply whipped down the line from the base of the scrum.

59 mins: Simpson-Daniel skips down the left flank and England have a sniff of a try, but Flood runs out of support and is hauled down just short of the line. Scrum to England in front of the Springbok posts.

58 mins: Robinson punches a hole through the South African defence and England string some phases together. But the visitors look devoid of creativity behind the pack and the Springboks soak up the pressure and the ball is cleared.

57 mins: Balshaw is off - he looked to land awkwardly on his right ankle and it looks serious. Simpson-Daniel enters the fray as Balshaw is ferried off the pitch. That could be Balshaw's World Cup hopes over.

56 mins: Sanderson it is with a wild pass in his own 22, and it is almost intercepted. Brown, however, collects and spirals the ball clear. Gomersall is snuffed out, Balshaw hits the deck with an injury and South Africa very nearly break through - but Januarie knocks on.

53 mins: Easter and Sanderson with a pincer tackle on Roussouw and England are at least showing plenty of mongrel in the second half.

50 mins: Flood ghosts past one tackle but is wrapped up by the ubiquitous Burger. Willemse spots a gap in midfield and is through it like a rat up a drainpipe, leaving Flood flat-footed with a step and carrying the ball 50 metres. Robinson makes the saving tackle on Steenkamp 10 metres from the England try-line.

"As a Bok fan who has suffered many a painful day I'm loving this - and no, I don't care if this is a weakened England team, if you have a club v country problem then that's your problem!"
Stuart, Paris, in the TMS inbox

47 mins: Slow ball from England and South Africa, like a playground bully leisurely keeping his victim at arm's length with one hand while taking a breather, are finding this far too easy.

45 mins: It's all very pedestrian in the England back-line, although Tait does inject some pace in midfield. He's isolated, however, and England's attack loses impetus.

43 mins: Wilkinson tries the chip, but it's overdone and Habana shepherds it dead and South Africa clear their lines. England need more sustained pressure than that, that wasn't clever play at all.

42 mins: Flood with the chip and chase, but Montgomery streams across at pace and mops up.

41 mins: Sanderson is on for his 16th cap and Hazell is off - the Gloucester flanker has a knee injury. Good restart from Wilkinson, but Regan knocks on.

"Let's maintain an optimistic perspective here. Winning would be great, but evidence of strategy, player development and managerial competence would be a step forward given the present climate of English rugby, would it not? Besides, did we not just witness a comeback from 17-0 by the Wallabies!"
Matt Spencer via email

40 mins: HALF-TIME South Africa 30-3 England There's the siren (hope there's no Blitz veterans in, they'll be ducking for cover) and England are taking one hell of a beating. Damage limitation in the second half, but they'll do well to limit the Springboks to less than 60. The frightening part is, South Africa look like they're only in third gear - one shudders to think what will happen if they decide to put their foot down after the break.

39 mins: CONVERSION South Africa 30-3 England Montgomery converts and I'm really not sure what Brian Ashton can do at half-time to stop the deluge. Shades of Brisbane 1998...

38 mins: TRY South Africa 28-3 England Silky from De Villiers, breaking from his own 22, mugging Brown with a swerve, side-stepping Balshaw and touching down under the posts. Taking the rise now, South Africa, England in dire straits.

37 mins: It's all getting a bit niggly up front - a couple of cheap digs from Bakkies Botha on Regan. Regan was in the foetal position, that was a little bit naughty from the Springboks lock.

34 mins: PENALTY South Africa 23-3 England Three more points from Montgomery, and this is turning into a grim afternoon for England. I suspect it will be a case of gritting their teeth and saving face for the next 48 minutes.

29 mins: PENALTY South Africa 20-3 England Wilkinson lifts England spirits with a penalty from range and the visitors will need plenty more magic from their golden boy if they are to heave their way back into this.

26 mins: CONVERSION South Africa 20-0 England To add to England's woes, the mercurial Montgomery is on song and makes no mistakes with the extras. England are up to their necks in the brutal reality of Test match rugby.

25 mins: TRY South Africa 18-0 England Tait makes the break, but Jones forces a speculative pass when he should have gone to ground, Habana intercepts and streaks home from 80 metres out. Perhaps the South African media was right - England's 'plumbers and decorators' are getting a pasting.

23 mins: CONVERSION South Africa 13-0 England Montgomery slots the extras and England are in a world of pain early on.

22 mins: TRY South Africa 11-0 England Wilkinson requires treatment after a big hit from opposite number James, but the Brittle One is fine to continue. But that's the first try of the match, Willemse putting the finishing gloss on a left-to-right move down the back-line. A bit too straight-forward that, the ball shovelled down the line and Willemse skipping over unopposed.

20 mins: Plenty of pressure from England, Hazell really covering himself in glory in these early skirmishes. South Africa go wide, but Balshaw polices the prolific Habana into touch.

16 mins: PENALTY South Africa 6-0 England Montgomery slots the three-pointer from in front of the posts. Not much subtlety from the hosts, but plenty of beef.

14 mins: Hazell clatters into Januarie, it's been a good start from the Gloucester flanker. The Springboks spin it wide, but more good defence from England prevents any breaks. Montgomery, however, has a chance to double the Springbok lead.

12 mins: Full-back Brown is marmalised by the muscular Burger and requires treatment - welcome to Test rugby, young man.

11 mins: Twinkle-toes from Wilkinson, skipping past one tackle before shovelling the ball back to no-one in particular. Balshaw tries a speculative drop-goal - that's not too clever, it comes up well short and hands over possession.

10 mins: Trap-a-lot Gomarsall gets a talking to from the ref - "you are not going to referee this match", says New Zealand's Steve Walsh.

8 mins: Montgomery collects a Garryowen and Hazell, like a Smeg fridge-freezer on legs, clatters into him and drives him backwards. Easter, however, is done for hands in the ruck and South Africa clear.

6 mins: Balshaw is driven backwards in the tackle but England retain possession and win a penalty, South Africa skipper Smit piling in from the side. Wilkinson, however, pushes his kick just wide of the right-hand upright from 40 metres out.

3 mins: England are outweighed by almost 40lb in the pack and it's not often you see that. Cheeky kick-through from Wilkinson but Tait is dispossessed - the Newcastle centre will be targeted in the tackle, and he'll have to be stronger than that.

2 mins: PENALTY South Africa 3-0 England The Springboks are off the mark, Montgomery with a sweetly-timed three-pointer 30 metres out from the left-hand side.

1 min: Right, the England boys put away their brushes and plungers and we're off. Jones gives away the first penalty of the afternoon, hands in the ruck, and Montgomery will have a dart at goal.

1400: Here's God Save the Queen and most of the England boys belt it out with gusto. Plenty of respect from the South Africa fans before they launch into their anthem - the only national anthem in the world that starts in one key and finishes in another. Wikipedia, I can't thank you enough...

1356: It's a spangling day in Bloemfontein and it looks like there's not a seat to be had - here comes the England team, led out by skipper Jason Robinson and given the bird by a hostile Bloemfontein crowd. The Springboks trot out and huddle, and I've just heard Matt Cairns has been withdrawn from the England bench, with Matt Stevens drafted in. That means England are without a replacement hooker.

1352: England have the oldest front-row in Test history - Regan and Turner are both 35, Yates is 34. That's more than the combined age of the Rolly Pollies.

1349: Two uncapped players in England's starting line-up - full-back Mike Brown of Harlequins and second-row Dean Schofield of Sale. England have lost their last six Test matches away from Twickenham, suffering defeats against Scotland, France, Australia (twice), Ireland and Wales.

1346: These sides have met 26 times - South Africa lead 13-12, with one draw. South Africa's biggest win is 35-9 in Johannesburg in 1984.

1340: Most pundits seem to agree that South Africa will stick 50 points on England today and wouldn't that be a big psychological blow ahead of their World Cup group game? South African domestic rugby has seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years - the Bulls beat the Sharks in this year's Super 14 final, the first time two South African sides had met in the competition showpiece.

"Farrell was probably worse today than yesterday, so not even close to playing. Richards has not been well for the past 48 hours and is no better today. The starting XV are all probably 100%, but Anthony Allen and James Simpson-Daniel were only considered this morning when they got up and declared themselves fit.

Jason Robinson has been outstanding in pulling the group together this week. We are not looking for excuses. We have got pretty close to what was going to be the starting XV and we just have to get on with it. We have got to match them up front, that is for sure. It is going to be incredibly difficult but reputations count for nothing once that first whistle goes."
England coach Brian Ashton

1330: Right, just as Beached Wales Stunk, according to a certain Brisbane rag, England are "a bunch of part-time plumbers and decorators" - I suspect there'll be no Pulitzers winging their way to the southern hemispehere this year. Jason Robinson and Co are just putting a second coat on their Free State Stadium dressing room in Bloemfontein, but I'm assured they'll be cleaned up and ready to kick off in 25 minutes.

Are you at the game or following it from home - or on your phone while you are out and about?

Why not send us your views on the game by text, e-mail or 606 and let us know how you think the match will go.


South Africa: P Montgomery (Sharks); A Willemse (Lions), W Olivier (Bulls), J de Villiers (Stormers), B Habana (Bulls); B James (Sharks), R Januarie (Lions); D Carstens (Sharks), J Smit (Sharks, capt), B J Botha (Sharks), B Botha (Bulls), V Matfield (Bulls), S Burger (Stormers), J Smith (Cheetahs), D Rossouw (Bulls).
Replacements: G Steenkamp (Bulls), G Botha (Bulls), C J van der Linde (Cheetahs), J Muller (Sharks), P Spies (Bulls), R Pienaar (Sharks), F Steyn (Sharks).

England: M Brown (Harlequins); I Balshaw (Gloucester), M Tait (Newcastle), T Flood (Newcastle), J Robinson (Sale Sharks, capt); J Wilkinson (Newcastle), A Gomarsall (Harlequins); K Yates (Saracens), M Regan (Bristol), S Turner (Sale Sharks), D Schofield (Sale Sharks), A Brown (Gloucester), C Jones (Sale Sharks), A Hazell (Gloucester), N Easter (Harlequins).
Replacements: M Cairns (Saracens), D Crompton (Bristol), R Winters (Bristol), P Sanderson (Worcester), S Perry (Bristol), A Allen (Gloucester), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester).

Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand).



SEE ALSO
Injury woes pile up for England
26 May 07 |  English
South Africa 58-10 England
26 May 07 |  English


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