South AFrica – Tries: Johan Goosen and Willie le Roux; Conversion: Ruan Combrinck; Penalties: Pat Lambie (2); Drop-goal: Lambie
It was a painful performance admits coach Allister Coetzee, who just simply doesn’t seem to be able to get the Springboks out of their current rut.
After the match, Coetzee said: “It’s hurting.
“However, this team doesn’t give up and I draw comfort from the way they kept fighting out there today.”
The early indications were that the Springboks were going to be a tough nut to crack for Eddie Jones and his team.
Beast Mtawarira and his teammates looked fired up at the start and took the lead through the boot of Pat Lambie after England were penalised at a ruck.
The Boks soon doubled their lead with a Lambie drop-goal in the sixth minute, with the Twickenham faithful sensing they might have underestimated the Springboks during the build-up to the match.
The two teams got a feel for each other at the start of the match, with a lot of kicking from both sides.
It was England, though, that scored the first try of the match through winger Jonny May, after they sucked in the Boks defence from a lineout.
Owen Farrell’s conversion made it 7-6 to the hosts.
Just before the quarter mark, the Boks won another penalty and Lambie made it 9-6.
The Springboks were good again in the set pieces, with Mtawarira especially impressive up front, and until then it looked like they were going to pull off somewhat of a surprise.
But it wasn’t to be, with Coetzee saying: “We had them under pressure but we couldn’t handle their contestable kicks.
“Those individual mistakes cost us. At times we were a bit passive in defence – we need a bit more speed off the line.
“Our set-piece was again very solid, but we needed a much better overall performance.”
After a Farrell penalty kick, things started to turn sour for the Boks.
One of those individual mistakes was when JP Petersen failed to collect a high ball in the England half, with the hosts then turning the ball over leading to lock Courtney Lawes’ try in the end.
Another Elliot Daly penalty made it 20-9 for England at the break. Nine minutes into the second half and it was all over for South Africa.
A break by England scrumhalf Ben Youngs saw him beat Pieter-Steph du Toit, with flyhalf George Ford rounding off the move and another penalty made it 30-9.
Johan Goosen’s introduction off the bench made some impact for the Boks, as he scored a try as well as fullback Willie le Roux, with England adding a further five-pointer through Farrell to make it 37-21.
The Boks next face Italy in what Coetzee describes as a must-win match.
He says: “We need to get a win. That is one important thing for any team. You can work as hard as you want, but for belief in structures and the team itself, you need to win.”