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Farrell fluffs chance to snatch victory for England

Date

David Legge

SOUTH AFRICA 14 ENGLAND 14

Heavy collision ... Jacques Potgieter of South Africa is tackled by Owen Farrell.

Heavy collision ... Jacques Potgieter of South Africa is tackled by Owen Farrell. Photo: AP

PORT ELIZABETH: Replacement fly-half Owen Farrell fluffed a stoppage-time drop goal attempt as England drew 14-14 with South Africa Saturday in the final game of a three-Test series.

MATCH STATS

The Springboks won the series 2-0 after victories in Durban and Johannesburg, but came under massive post-hooter pressure at a wet Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in this coastal city.

Gio Aplon of South Africa is wrapped up by Alex Goode.

Gio Aplon of South Africa is wrapped up by Alex Goode. Photo: AFP

With the visitors unable to find a way through the green and gold defence, the ball was passed back to Farrell, whose attempt was low and wide to the relief of most in a capacity 45,000 crowd.

Usually deadly South African goal kicker and fly-half Morne Steyn had another off-day, missing three of six shots at goal, and a late drop-goal attempt that failed prompted boos from some spectators.

Steyn kicked three penalties and right-wing JP Pietersen scored his second try in as many Tests for the Springboks while scrum-half Danny Care crossed the line for England and Farrell (twice) and fly-half Toby Flood kicked penalties.

JP Pietersen of South Africa is tackled.

JP Pietersen of South Africa is tackled. Photo: AFP

The result ended a run of nine consecutive victories by South Africa over England since 2006 and was only the second draw between the countries in 35 Tests with the first 106 years ago at Crystal Palace in London.

"Credit to England who played well, but we were disappointing. We were not good enough tonight and must look hard at ourselves. Our option taking was poor," admitted Springbok skipper and outside centre Jean de Villiers.

Rival captain and England hooker Dylan Hartley said: "We grafted and our defence and ball retention was good, but we could not get the result we desperately wanted. The team have learnt a lot from this tour."

England's Toby Flood is tackled by South Africa's Flip van der Merwe. Click for more photos

Stalemate in Port Elizabeth

England avoid series whitewash with low-scoring draw against South Africa. Photo: AFP

England were ahead in less than two minutes as South Africa got caught offside and Flood kicked a simple penalty before missing a second, more difficult attempt.

With seven minutes gone the teams were level as another offside infringement offered Steyn the chance to kick his first penalty on a ground where he scored all 18 points in a triumph over New Zealand last year.

An attempted clearance kick by Steyn that was blocked by impressive No 8 Thomas Waldrom led to England regaining the lead after 11 minutes through a try from former English rugby 'bad boy' Care.

Bryan Habana catches the high ball for South Africa.

Bryan Habana catches the high ball for South Africa. Photo: AFP

The charge down led to England bursting down the centre and when the home team were penalised, Care spotted a gap, took a tap penalty and dived over between prop Jannie du Plessis and lock Eben Etzebeth.

Flood saw his conversion drift just left of the far post and Steyn cut the deficit to two points with another successful penalty kick on 16 minutes as the English pack continued to be whistled at rucks and mauls.

Steyn missed his third penalty kick while England found themselves down to a third-choice fly-half with Alex Goode coming forward from full-back as injuries sidelined Flood permanently and replacement Farrell temporarily.

Farrell, axed following the first Test loss in Durban, returned after Steyn kicked a 28th-minute penalty to edge the Springboks 9-8 ahead and close the opening-half scoring.

But it could have been a wider margin at the break as a multi-phase attack by the Springboks brought them close to the English line before 20-year-old Etzebeth knocked on.

Both teams had penalty chances within the first 10 minutes of the second half and while Farrell made no mistake from close range, Steyn fluffed a more difficult opportunity.

After numerous warnings to the English forwards for infringements, Australian referee Steve Walsh lost his patience on 51 minutes and yellow carded New Zealand-born Hartley.

South Africa spent a lot of time in the England half and were rewarded just past the hour mark when line-out possession led to an assault on the line and a skip pass from replacement scrum-half Ruan Pienaar sent Pietersen over.

Steyn failed to convert from far out, but the Springboks were ahead 14-11 only for England to level when Farrell kicked his second close-range penalty eight minutes from time.

SOUTH AFRICA 14 (JP Pietersen try; Morne Steyn 3 pens) drew with ENGLAND 14 (Danny Care try; Toby Flood 2, Owen Farrell pen)

AFP

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Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
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SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
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WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
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SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
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SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
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ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
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WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
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France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
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Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
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England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
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USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
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