England vs South Africa: Dave Attwood vs Victor Matfield head-to-head

Who prevailed in the battle of the second-rows

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The Independent Online

Who won the line-out confrontation?

Both men performed as required though the Boks used Matfield more regularly, at the front and middle of the lineout. Attwood came into his own after the interval before being hauled off. Matfield, after “resting” in the sin-bin, returned to play a full part.

Whose scrum had the upper hand?

Of the five first-half scrums, England did far better. They won a penalty at their first feed and also took away a free kick. Second-half scrums were disrupted by yellow cards to both sides but England still retained the upper hand – encouraging given their tight-forward absentees.

Leadership qualities?

Matfield knows every short cut going. Aged 37 and playing his 119th test, he turns up where most needed, even when sacking the England maul that earned him his card. Attwood will have learned plenty from him.

 

Victor-Matfield.jpg
South African lock Victor Matfield

Overall impact on the match?

Attwood was very visible in the first half, perhaps too much so when he failed to deliver a potential scoring pass to Anthony Watson. As effective as any other England carrier until the arrival of Ben Morgan. Matfield is still the heart of Springbok rugby.

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