Rugby-South Africa finish season on high

Reuters

Sat, 27 Nov 16:52:00 2010

* Boost for South Africa after loss to Scotland

* England fail to reproduce form shown against Australia

* Seventh win in a row for South Africa over England

South Africa comfortably beat England 21-11 at Twickenham on Saturday to end their season on a high and revive confidence ahead of next year's World Cup campaign.

The world champions dominated the first half but failed to turn their possession into points after meeting dogged resistance from England who two weeks ago had thrilled Twickenham with a stunning 35-18 win over Australia.

Two Toby Flood penalties had the hosts ahead only for Morne Steyn to peg them back on both occasions.

South Africa came to the match with injuries and suspensions and on the back of a 21-17 loss to Scotland.

But they made it seven consecutive victories over England with a powerful display.

A Steyn penalty gave them an early second-half lead and replacement Willem Alberts added a deserved try before the hour.

England's afternoon got worse when Lwazi Mvovo darted through their sleeping defence to stretch their lead with Steyn adding the conversion before Ben Foden grabbed a late consolation try.

South Africa had suffered a surprise defeat to Scotland last weekend but regained momentum ahead of next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

England will be left with some positives from defeats to New Zealand and the Springboks and memories of their stirring victory over Australia.

RARE ATTACKS

Flood's first-half penalties were the culmination of two rare England attacks but the hosts were on the back foot for most of the time.

Courtney Lawes and Ben Youngs combined superbly to deny Springboks captain Victor Matfield on the try line, while last-man Foden later also rescued England.

South Africa had twice hit the post in the first half from penalties but Steyn made no mistake a minute after the break to put the visitors ahead for the first time.

England tested the visitors try-line briefly but South Africa got the score their powerful play deserved when Alberts collected a deft offload to dive over in the corner.

England were caught napping 10 minutes later when Mvovo darted through three players to race to the line and effectively seal victory.

 

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