Boks clinch it in frenetic first half

2012-06-16 20:19

Sealed with a comprehensively brutal display of running rugby

South Africa (25) 36 England (10) 27

Like Carisbrook did with the All Blacks, there is something that invigorates the Springboks whenever they play at the venerable Doornfontein ground.

Heyneke Meyer’s men sealed the series with a comprehensively brutal display of physical, running rugby in a frenetic first half.

They faded badly in the second-half, but had enough in the tank to see off a determined England second half challenge.

Central to the Boks commandeering performance was François Hougaard. The twinkle-toed halfback was at the heart of every positive move the Boks created.

The English played within themselves, wary of the debilitating effects of altitude in the closing stages as they were bullied in the collisions and caught napping out wide.

The Bok’s first two tries were a direct result of their physicality.

Willem Alberts was gifted the easiest of tries as the ball popped out on his side from an England scrum.

Bismarck Du Plessis then barrelled over under the uprights after the England dam wall cracked under the pressure of the Green flood.

All the Boks forwards came to the party, especially Pierre Spies, who showed his willingness to do the dirty work required from him to become the complete number eight.

The Boks also dominated the scrums, where Tendai Mtawarira got the better of Dan Cole.

South Africa’s physicality led to Hougaard’s try after a sustained pressure period.

The English were kept in the game through Toby Flood, who scored all of their first-half points through a converted try sparked by livewire scrumhalf Ben Youngs, who was to trouble the Bok fringe defence the whole game, and a penalty.

England’s lack of ball and South Africa’s defence meant centres Manu Tuilagi and Jonathan Joseph were kept on a tight leash.

A fluffed lineout by Du Plessis in the second stanza saw Youngs score the first of his two tries.

When England battled back to 31-27 through another Youngs try and a long-rang Flood penalty, it seemed Jean de Villiers’s conservative approach had backfired as Morne Steyn’s radar failed him again.

That was the only blemish for Steyn.

Up stepped JP Pietersen, who started and finished a wonderful move, killing the England challenge.

Other Results:

New Zealand 22, Ireland 19; Australia 25, Wales 23

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