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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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PENALTY! England 17-15 SOUTH AFRICA (Handre Pollard penalty, 54 minutes)

This time Handre Pollard hits the mark from bang in front. That’s him done for the day, too - Elton Jantjies replaces him.

England make a change: Sam Underhill goes off, Alex Dombrandt’s rather contrasting frame replacing him.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:29
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England 17-12 South Africa, 53 minutes

England just starting to struggle to arrest momentum. Another fumble in their own territory means Steward’s next clearance isn’t as long as he would have liked and England are caught with their hands in the cookie jar after a ruck has concluded. Another penalty to be directed at goal.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:28
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England 17-12 South Africa, 52 minutes

Very good from Freddie Steward. He takes a high ball under major pressure, claims the mark and reacts well to South Africa’s retreat to clear in relative comfort before they can assemble a charging-down party to trouble him.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:26
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England 17-12 South Africa, 49 minutes

Scrum penalty South Africa! Vincent Koch drives through Joe Marler, Steven Kitshoff through Kyle Sinckler, and England are penalised.

South Africa make another change - Le Roux’s mishandling is his final major action as Frans Steyn comes on, adding a properly long-range kicking option.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:25
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England 17-12 South Africa, 49 minutes

Two superb high bombs from England give Willie Le Roux kittens, the first bouncing from his shoulder, the second from his hands, and a knock-on means England will have a scrum.

And to feed it will be Raffi Quirke! A bit of a surprise - England trusting their young half-backs.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:24
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Missed Penalty! England 17-12 South Africa, 48 minutes

One missed right, now one away to the left - Pollard left his kicking boots in the changing room at half-time, evidently.

Here comes England’s Bomb Squad defuser - Joe Marler ready to unleash the pent-up frustration of ten days in isolation after contracting Covid-19.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:21
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England 17-12 South Africa, 46 minutes

Twice Freddie Steward claims high hoists from South Africa, first leaping, then on the run. He’s looked rock solid, again.

Kyle Sinckler bobbles a pass as he carries for contact and is thus rather exposed as Malcolm Marx gives him a free rib tickle. The replacement hooker launches Sinckler backwards, and England are penalised at the ruck. A chance for Pollard to atone from 42 metres, left of centre, as Joe Marler readies himself.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:20
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England 17-12 South Africa, 45 minutes

Chance missed for the Springboks! It’s delightful attacking play down the right as Damian De Allende tiptoes into space with an in-to-out shimmy, finding his captain out the back door.

Jesse Kriel has open acreage in front of him but overruns slightly and can’t get a hand on Kolisi’s backwards offload. He holds his head in his hands - that was a try for all money if Kolisi had found him.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:18
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Missed Penalty! England 17-12 South Africa, 44 minutes

Starts right, stays right - a first miss of the afternoon for Handre Pollard.

That scrum munching is the last action of South Africa’s starting front row - here come the “Bomb Squad”. Messrs Marx, Kitshoff and Koch replace Nche, Mbonambi and Nyakane.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:17
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England 17-12 South Africa, 43 minutes

That’s a statement from South Africa! For the first time they get a proper nudge on at scrum time and Kyle Sinckler steps out to try and stall it. He’s penalised, and Handre Pollard will try to get the scoring started in this second 40 minutes...

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 16:16

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