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England vs South Africa LIVE: Rugby result, final score and reaction from 2021 Autumn Nations Series

Eddie Jones’ side got some revenge against the world champion Springboks

Harry Latham-Coyle
Sunday 21 November 2021 09:07
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Freddie Steward celebrates 'unbelievable win' against South Africa

England welcomed South Africa to Twickenham on Saturday afternoon in a mouthwatering rematch of the World Cup final two years on.

Fly-half Marcus Smith landed a last-minute penalty to snatch a 27-26 win as the hosts looked full of early promise but were hauled back by the battling Springboks in the teams’ first meeting since the 2019 showpiece.

England fashioned excellent early tries for Manu Tuilagi and Freddie Steward but were penalised relentlessly and four penalties for Handre Pollard kept South Africa within five points at the break.

The Springboks edged clear in the second half and, after tries by Raffie Quirke for England and Makazole Mapimpi for the Springboks, a Fran Steyne penalty put the visitors two points ahead with six minutes to go. England, though, mustered one final attack and earned a penalty on the 22 that Smith smashed over.

With star youngsters like Smith, Steward and Quirke breaking through across a fruitful autumn, Jones admitted the quest for the 2023 World Cup title hurtles ever closer. Asked if this autumn series represents a new England era, coach Eddie Jones replied: “Yes, we said in the summer that the Lions tour draws a line in the sand, and that you need to regenerate and have a little bit of a rebirth to go to the World Cup.

“There’s some good players coming through but we’ve got some pretty good experienced players too. They feel comfortable within themselves, they want to be together, they want to work together. Our stated aim is to win the World Cup, so we want to be better in the next campaign.”

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England 24-26 South Africa, 78 minutes

Knock ons both ways! Will Stuart is back on and England nearly find space as they now have a man advantage, but a South African hands sends the final pass out of reach for the player on the end of the line.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 17:00
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England 24-26 South Africa, 76 minutes

South Africa pinch the ball! Nic Dolly fails to hit his jumper and South Africa are able to clear!

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:58
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Makazole Mapimpi of South Africa scores

Jack Rathborn20 November 2021 16:58
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YELLOW CARD! Siya Kolisi is sent to the sin bin! England 24-26 South Africa, 75 minutes

It’s yellow! Kolisi leapt for the ball but was there second and beneath Joe Marchant. It’s a yellow card for certain.

What do England do? It’s one metre inside their half, left of centre, Freddie Steward has a big boot...

Marcus Smith pushes England into the South Africa 22.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:58
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England 24-26 South Africa, 75 minutes

Drama! It is panto season as Twickenham boos as they hear a whistle blow with Henry Slade cantering away with the loose ball...

But the game has rightly been stopped as Joe Marchant tumbles nastily as Siya Kolisi collides with him in the air. The South African captain may be in bother here.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:56
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England 24-26 South Africa, 74 minutes

Like a great giraffe in the open field! Eben Etzebeth strides right through the centre of the England defence and has brief thoughts of something for the highlights real, but is so over-excited by the space that he throws an inaccurate pass, and South Africa hold on as they scramble to retrieve the bobbling ball.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:54
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PENALTY! England 24-26 SOUTH AFRICA (Frans Steyn penalty, 73 minutes)

No mistake from the veteran. South Africa into the lead.

Sam Simmonds replaces Courtney Lawes. Tom Curry presumably takes over the captaincy.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:53
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England 24-23 South Africa, 71 minutes

Twickenham looks skywards as the two sides trade up and unders, but it’s another South Africa penalty! Duane Vermeulen gets over the ball with Maro Itoje isolated and England hold on - Frans Steyn will have a go from 45 metres out.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:51
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TRY! England 24-23 SOUTH AFRICA (Makazole Mapimpi, 69 minutes)

Another penalty and another advantage coming but the Springboks won’t need it! A powerful maul drive is stalled just short and Marcus Smith is then offside, but England are narrow in defence, and two lovely miss passes from Elton Jantjies and Lukhanyo Am allow Makazole Mapimpi a simple run in for yet another international try.

Elton Jantjies to convert from the touchline to put South Africa ahead...missed left!

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:49
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YELLOW CARD! Will Stuart is sent to the sin bin! England 24-18 South Africa, 67 minutes

One penalty too many for England, and they will play most of what remains of this game with 14 players. Will Stuart is the man off for a sit on the naughty step - South Africa back into the hosts’ 22.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:47

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