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England leaves it late against South Africa

The last Autumn Internationals of 2021 for England was a home match against South Africa. Eddie Jones wanted to use this match to prepare his team for the Six Nations 2022 tournament. The match didn’t start like England wished it would. They lost Manu Tuilagi early in the match due to injury problems. This happened during the act of scoring the opening try to build a 17-6 lead, crossing with Freddie Steward.

Resilience by South Afrifa

The South African team showed a lot of resilience during the face of the storm. The Springboks defended their line and relied on Handre Pollard’s boot. The fact they had won their last three games after being behind at half-time, gave South Africa a lot of confidence. They didn’t panic when being 17-12 behind at half-time. England gave away penalty after penalty, helping South Africa to get back into the game.

Late minute winner

For much of the second half they were entrenched inside their 22, fighting hard for every yard and Pollard eventually kicked the Springboks ahead in the 64th minute. Defences had reigned but in the space of four minutes they were momentarily shredded as Raffi Quirke and Makazole Mapimpi exchanged slick tries to usher in a nerve shredding final 10 minutes. The whole second half the score was pretty tied, so it all came down o the final minutes of the game. In the end of the game Marcus Smith kept his nerve to land a last-gasp penalty as England avenged their 2019 World Cup final defeat by toppling South Africa 27-26 in an enthralling climax to the autumn.