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
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.”


England 7-0 South Africa, 11 minutes

Back to the set-piece as Jonny May drops the ball inside the England 22, but again there is instability and again the decision goes England’s way. Angus Gardner on the touchline spots Trevor Nyakane going to floor first and South Africa are penalised.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 15:27

England 7-0 South Africa, 8 minutes

That is less good news for England - Tuilagi injured himself in scoring in the corner and he’s had to trudge off! Max Malins is on and has gone to the wing, Joe Marchant slips in to the outside centre channel, and Henry Slade is now at 12.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 15:24

TRY! ENGLAND 7-0 South Africa (Manu Tuilagi try, 7 minutes)

There’s no stopping Manu Tuilagi from there - the England centre is over in the corner!

It was smart from England, drawing in the South African defence with close n carriers, allowing Marcus Smith to lurk out the back of two forwards. He takes the pass from Ben Youngs and spreads to Henry Slade, who puts his centre partner into space with a fizzed wide ball. A rumble for the line and Twickenham roars as Tuilagi dives over.

Marcus Smith converts from the touchline. What a start for England!

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 15:23

England 0-0 South Africa, 6 minutes

England try to maul with a darty throw to the front from Jamie Blamire hitting a grounded Maro Itoje, but South AFrica defend it well, and Englan will have to play away.

Jonny May shimmies out of two tackles to within ten metres and Maro Itoje carries hard, but the lock is stood up five metres out...

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 15:21

England 0-0 South Africa, 5 minutes

Andrew Brace whistles once more, and this time it is a penalty! Kyle Sinckler rises with a Chesire Cat grin having forced Ox Nche to ground...

And Marcus Smith kicks for the corner!

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 15:20

England 0-0 South Africa, 4 minutes

Free kick to England and Courtney Lawes is happy enough to go back into scrum battle.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 15:19

England 0-0 South Africa, 3 minutes

After Smith runs it is Ben Youngs using the boot well - dabbed in behind Willie Le Roux who is forced to carry over his own line and ground by two English chasers. A five metre scrum for England, five metres infield on the left. First chance.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 15:18

England 0-0 South Africa, 2 minutes

Here comes Freddie Steward! A clean take and a powerful fend as he runs the ball back, and midfield possession for England.

Marcus Smith’s high bomb ends up in English hands too! Another kick, this time more adventurous - Smith’s crossfield number hops beautifully for Harlequins teammate Joe Marchant on the right!

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 15:17

England 0-0 South Africa, 1 minute

England are under aerial pressure straightaway but claim the kick-off superbly and put something skywards themselves - Ben Youngs box kick nicely taken by South Africa.

To the skies again! Handre Pollard’s high hoist is fumbled by a leaping Jesse Kriel and Jonny May and falls, fortuitously for the home side, into English hands.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 15:16


Brace whistles, Pollard kicks off, and for the first time in more than two years: England against South Africa has begun!

Harry Latham-Coyle20 November 2021 15:15

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