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England 6-42 South Africa

England (6) 6
Pens: Cipriani 2

South Africa (20) 42
Tries: Rossouw, Pienaar, Jacobs, Fourie, Habana Cons: Pienaar 3, Steyn Pens: Pienaar 3

By James Standley

South Africa players celebrate after Bryan Habana (centre)
Habana (centre) completed the rout with a fifth try for South Africa

World champions South Africa handed England their record defeat at Twickenham as they repeated their victory in the World Cup final.

An early penalty apiece made it 3-3 before Danie Rossouw and Ruan Pienaar both crossed for the visitors.

South Africa led 20-6 at half-time, with England's only points coming from two Danny Cipriani penalties.

And the Boks ran in three more tries as Adrian Jacobs, Jaque Fourie and Bryan Habana confirmed the gulf in class.

It was the first meeting between the two sides since the Springboks beat England 15-6 to win the 2007 World Cup and they went into the match in very different states.

England were just two games into their new era under new boss Martin Johnson while South Africa were playing the final game of a near 12-month season since lifting the World Cup.

Smit praises 'colossal' Springboks

The hosts' previous outing had been a disappointing defeat by Australia, which saw them gift victory to the Wallabies through a combination of conceding kickable penalties, failure to take their chances and an inability to generate enough quick ball from the forwards.

They were determined not to start in the same fashion against the Boks but after a bright few minutes initially the same problems soon resurfaced.

Cipriani got the game under way with a cute grubber kick and when South Africa infringed the 21-year-old fly-half kicked England into a second minute lead.

But Pienaar soon levelled after England were penalised for holding on at a ruck and then came a passage of play which defined the game.

Tom Rees charged a kick down to give England a five metre scrum but the resulting attack was laboured and the South African defence drove them back.


When the Boks won a five metre scrum of their own two minutes later they were much crisper in their execution and Rossouw had enough power to take the entire England midfield over the line with him.

Pienaar converted and was soon back on the score sheet as Cipriani paid the penalty for taking far too long over a kick in midfield.

Pienaar had all the time in the world to charge him down and canter over under the posts.

The South Africa number 10 converted and then added a penalty and a quarter of the way through the match England trailed 17-3.

Delon Armitage was bundled into touch at the corner flag after Danny Care took a quick tap as England finally produced a move with real pace in it and they pulled back three points when Cipriani landed his second penalty.

Johnson frustrated by 'brutal' defeat

The last 10 minutes of the half saw a host of comings and goings, with South Africa losing prop Tendai Mtawarira to the sin bin and England replacing the injured Riki Flutey with Toby Flood and Simon Shaw replacing Tom Palmer, reportedly for tactical reasons.

England started the second half on the front foot and Care got to within a couple of feet of the line after a sustained attack but they were eventually beaten back by brutal Springbok defence and the visitors then stretched well clear.

Victor Matfield, the scourge of England during the 2007 World Cup final, won quick ball off the top of a line-out and when it was moved into midfield Jacobs scythed through for a sparkling try.

Pienaar added the conversion and a third penalty and although South Africa lost Conrad Jantjes to the sin bin for taking out Armitage as he chased his kick ahead, the Boks ended in total control.

First Fourie claimed a kick ahead before muscling his way over, with Francois Steyn converting, before Habana, the reigning world player of the year, added a fifth try to leave England humiliated.

England: Armitage; Sackey, Noon, Flutey, Monye; Cipriani, Care; Payne, Mears, Vickery, Borthwick, Palmer, Haskell, Rees, Easter.

Replacements: Flood for Flutey (30), Ellis for Care (66), Hartley for Mears (58), Stevens for Vickery (53), Shaw for Palmer (32), Croft for Rees (79), Crane for Easter (69).

South Africa: Jantjes; Pietersen, Jacobs, de Villiers, Habana; Pienaar, Januarie; Mtawarira, Smit, du Plessis, Botha, Matfield, Burger, Rossouw, Spies.

Replacements: Fourie for Jacobs (58), Steyn for Pienaar (64), Mujati for du Plessis (67), Ralepelle for Rossouw (32), Brussow for Spies (75).

Not Used: Bekker, Kankowski.

Sin Bin: Mtawarira (30), Jantjes (64).

Att: 81,113

Ref: Nigel Owens (WRFU).

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see also
Johnson says defeat was 'brutal'
22 Nov 08 |  English
Johnson is right man - Woodward
22 Nov 08 |  English
Sheridan to miss Springbok Test
20 Nov 08 |  English
South Africa forced into changes
20 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Scrum must 'step it up' - Mears
19 Nov 08 |  English
Flanker Haskell back for England
18 Nov 08 |  English
Jeremy Guscott column
17 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
England 14-28 Australia
15 Nov 08 |  English
Scotland 10-14 South Africa
15 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
England 6-15 South Africa
20 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union

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The Times Johnson hints at long-term plan - 38 hrs ago
The Times England manager drops hint at long-term plans - 41 hrs ago
Telegraph England recall James Haskell for South Africa clash at Twickenham - 47 hrs ago
Sky Sports Boks challenge excites Haskell - 48 hrs ago
Telegraph England recall Haskell - 50 hrs ago


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