JOHANNESBURG (AP) -South Africa clinched the series over a gutsy England after a first-half blitz and JP Pietersen’s late game-clinching try gave the Springboks a 36-27 win in the second test at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Flanker Willem Alberts, hooker Bismarck du Plessis and scrumhalf Francois Hougaard scored tries for South Africa inside the first 20 minutes to set up an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series after England’s promising second-half fightback fell just short in Johannesburg.
South Africa eventually had to cling on despite its initial dominance over Stuart Lancaster’s England, which replied to the onslaught with tries to recalled flyhalf Toby Flood in the 24th and two from scrumhalf Ben Youngs in a second-half surge that brought the battling tourists to within four points after trailing 22-3 early on.
Wing Pietersen grabbed South Africa’s crucial fourth try in the 73rd to seal the series after South Africa won a similarly bruising and tight first test in Durban last weekend.
“Frustration would be the overriding emotion really,” Lancaster said of how his players are feeling. “A mixture of pride in coming back, but frustration because winning rugby games at this level is what it’s about and it wasn’t quite enough.
“Our momentum and belief grew and we played some good stuff in the second half, there’s no doubt about it. But we gave ourselves too much to do.”
England’s prospects looked bleak when Hougaard wriggled over from the back of a ruck to help the Boks to a 19-point advantage inside 20 minutes in front of 60,000 fans.
But the tourists’ standout player, Youngs, took a quick tap to set up Flood’s try and then wrestled his way over in the 52nd and 62nd
Category: Africa News