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Tryless England fall short against Springboks

Date

Julian Guyer

ENGLAND 15 SOUTH AFRICA 16

Decisive try ... Willem Alberts of South Africa goes over.

Decisive try ... Willem Alberts of South Africa goes over. Photo: Getty Images

LONDON: South Africa completed an unbeaten tour of Europe with a 16-15 victory over England at Twickenham on Saturday that helped end the hosts' hopes of a top four seeding at the 2015 World Cup.

Springbok flanker Willem Alberts's try, the only one of the match, early in the second half proved the decisive score of a rainswept clash.

South Africa's Eben Etzebeth tussles with England's Ben Youngs. Click for more photos

Boks win tight tussle at Twickenham

South Africa score narrow win against England. Photo: AP

However, with the hosts trailing 16-12 and only two minutes left, England captain Chris Robshaw, criticised for running kickable penalties during last week's defeat by Australia, told replacement fly-half Owen Farrell to go for goal rather than opt for an attacking line-out that could have led to a try.

South Africa's line-out superiority provided Robshaw with justification for his decision. But England wasted valuable time before Farrell landed the penalty to make it 16-15 to the Springboks.

And from the re-start South Africa, second in the world standings to England's fifth, did enough to extend their unbeaten streak against the Red Rose to 11 Tests.

"From that last penalty, I thought we would have a chance to get down the other end and put over a drop-goal," said Robshaw.

"You have to take every game as it comes and they were giving away plenty of penalties and we thought we might get another chance," the flanker added.

England coach Stuart Lancaster defended his captain by saying: "Games are not won or lost on any one decision, we lost control in the middle third of the game."

South Africa captain Jean de Villiers sympathised with Robshaw.

"Had they caught that ball from the kick-off and held on to it, they could have come into our area and maybe get a penalty again and suddenly you win the game," de Villiers said.

Asked if England had taken too long over their final penalty, de Villiers added: "That's a fair point. I can't comment on their calling structures but, unfortunately for them and fortunately for us, it worked out for us."

France's victory over Samoa later Saturday meant that England, who conclude their autumn series against world champions New Zealand at Twickenham next week, won't be among the top four seeds when the draw for their home World Cup takes place on December 3.

England, who drew 14-14 when they last played South Africa, in Port Elizabeth in June, made six changes from the side beaten 20-14 by Australia last weekend.

Mike Brown replaced left wing Charlie Sharples and Ben Youngs started at scrum-half in place of Danny Care.

Lock Joe Launchbury was given a first Test start as Wasps team-mate Tom Palmer made way and a rejigged back row saw the return of No 8 Ben Morgan and flanker Tom Wood while fit-again Alex Corbisiero was in at loose-head prop.

South Africa were unchanged from the team that beat Scotland 21-10 last week, with the Springboks having started their tour with a 16-12 win over Ireland.

An attritional first half finished with South Africa 9-6 ahead after Springbok fly-half Pat Lambie kicked three penalties from three attempts while his England counterpart, Toby Flood, landed two from four.

England's changed pack was more competitive in the scrum and loose than against the Wallabies but the Springboks bossed the line-out.

It was no surprise, given the first half, that South Africa kicked a close-range penalty to touch early in the second period that led to their try.

After a catch and drive, South Africa lost the ball but Ben Youngs's attempted fly-hack clear rebounded off Springbok wing JP Pietersen.

Wood knocked-on the loose ball and Alberts plunged over the line.

Lambie converted and South Africa were two scores ahead at 16-6.

England threatened when centre Manu Tuilagi counter-attacked from deep and found Chris Ashton in support.

But Ashton's pass to fellow wing Brown was a poor one, with several later knock-ons hampering England's cause.

Farrell, on for the injured Flood, cut the deficit with a 61st minute penalty before the dramatic finale left England thinking of what might have been.

SOUTH AFRICA 16 (Willem Alberts try; Pat Lambie con, 3 pens) bt ENGLAND 15 (Toby Flood 2, Owen Farrell 3 pens) at Twickenham. Referee: Nigel Owens (WAL).

AFP

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BLU 0vs HIG 0 17:35EP
BRU 0vs HUR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 0vs Jagu 0 04:00FSS
Sunw 0vs LIO 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
CRU 0vs CHF 0 17:35AMI
WAR 0vs RED 0 19:40AS
FOR 0vs REB 0 21:50nib Stadium
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King 0vs SHA 0 00:00NMBS
STO 0vs BUL 0 02:05DHL Newlands
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CRU 0vs BLU 0 17:35AMI
BRU 0vs WAR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 0vs LIO 0 15:15FMG Stadium Waikato
HIG 0vs HUR 0 17:35FBS
RED 0vs FOR 0 19:40SS
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BUL 0vs REB 0 00:00Loftu
CHT 0vs STO 0 02:05FSS
SHA 0vs Jagu 0 04:10GpKP
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Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 0vs HUR 0 17:35EP
FOR 0vs BRU 0 22:05nib Stadium
Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 0vs LIO 0 17:35FBS
REB 0vs RED 0 19:40AAMI
Sunw 0vs CHT 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
King 0vs CHF 0 00:00NMBS
STO 0vs SHA 0 02:05DHL Newlands
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Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 0vs FOR 0 17:35Central Energy Trust Arena
WAR 0vs HIG 0 19:40AS
Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 0vs SHA 0 04:00Loftu
Sunw 0vs REB 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
CRU 0vs King 0 17:35AMI
RED 0vs BLU 0 19:40SS
Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
LIO 0vs CHT 0 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
STO 0vs BRU 0 04:10DHL Newlands
Jagu 0vs CHF 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 0vs King 0 17:35WS
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 0vs FOR 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
REB 0vs HIG 0 19:40AAMI
Sunw 0vs BUL 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 0vs BRU 0 00:00FSS
SHA 0vs CRU 0 02:05GpKP
Jagu 0vs STO 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
RED 0vs WAR 0 16:05SS
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Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
HIG 0vs FOR 0 17:35FBS
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LIO 0vs CRU 0 04:00Emirates Airlines Park
BLU 0vs Jagu 0 17:35QBE Stadium
BRU 0vs CHF 0 19:40GIO Stadium
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King 0vs Sunw 0 02:05NMBS
BUL 0vs CHT 0 03:10Loftu
WAR 0vs REB 0 16:05AS
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Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF 0vs BLU 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
FOR 0vs CRU 0 21:00nib Stadium
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
STO 0vs Sunw 0 03:00DHL Newlands
HUR 0vs Jagu 0 17:35WS
RED 0vs HIG 0 19:40SS
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA 0vs LIO 0 01:05GpKP
King 0vs BUL 0 03:10NMBS
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Round 8
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 0vs Jagu 0 17:35AMI
REB 0vs HUR 0 19:40AAMI
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
CHT 0vs Sunw 0 03:00FSS
BLU 0vs SHA 0 17:35EP
WAR 0vs BRU 0 19:40AS
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
BUL 0vs RED 0 01:05Loftu
LIO 0vs STO 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
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Round 9
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
HIG 0vs SHA 0 17:35FBS
REB 0vs CHT 0 19:40AAMI
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
Sunw 0vs Jagu 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
HUR 0vs CHF 0 17:35WS
FOR 0vs WAR 0 19:40nib Stadium
STO 0vs RED 0 23:00DHL Newlands
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
King 0vs LIO 0 01:05NMBS
BRU 0vs CRU 0 16:05GIO Stadium
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Round 10
Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF 0vs SHA 0 17:35Yarro
FOR 0vs BUL 0 21:05nib Stadium
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
HIG 0vs BRU 0 15:15Rugby Park
BLU 0vs REB 0 17:35EP
RED 0vs CHT 0 19:40SS
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LIO 0vs HUR 0 01:05Emirates Airlines Park
STO 0vs WAR 0 03:10DHL Newlands
Jagu 0vs King 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Round 11
Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 0vs RED 0 17:35AMI
BRU 0vs BUL 0 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
Sunw 0vs FOR 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
CHF 0vs HIG 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
WAR 0vs CHT 0 19:40AS
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Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
King 0vs BLU 0 01:05NMBS
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Round 12
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG 0vs CRU 0 17:35FBS
REB 0vs BRU 0 19:40AAMI
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 0vs RED 0 17:35WS
WAR 0vs BUL 0 19:40AS
Sunw 0vs STO 0 21:45Singapore National Stadium
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT 0vs King 0 01:05FSS
LIO 0vs BLU 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
Jagu 0vs SHA 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Round 13
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 0vs WAR 0 17:35AMI
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
RED 0vs Sunw 0 15:05SS
CHF 0vs REB 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
FOR 0vs BLU 0 19:40nib Stadium
LIO 0vs Jagu 0 23:00Emirates Airlines Park
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA 0vs King 0 01:05GpKP
BUL 0vs STO 0 03:10Loftu
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Round 14
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 0vs HIG 0 17:35WS
WAR 0vs CHF 0 19:40AS
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
King 0vs Jagu 0 03:00NMBS
BLU 0vs CRU 0 17:35EP
BRU 0vs Sunw 0 19:40GIO Stadium
STO 0vs CHT 0 23:00DHL Newlands
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
BUL 0vs LIO 0 01:05Loftu
REB 0vs FOR 0 16:05AAMI
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Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
CHF 0vs CRU 0 17:35ANZ National Stadium, Suva
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HUR 0vs BLU 0 17:35WS
REB 0vs STO 0 19:40AAMI
CHT 0vs FOR 0 23:00FSS
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King 0vs HIG 0 03:10NMBS
Jagu 0vs BUL 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
BLU 0vs BRU 0 17:35EP
RED 0vs CHF 0 19:40SS
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LIO 0vs King 0 03:00Emirates Airlines Park
CRU 0vs REB 0 17:35AMI
WAR 0vs HUR 0 19:40AS
FOR 0vs STO 0 21:45nib Stadium
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BUL 0vs Sunw 0 01:05Loftu
SHA 0vs CHT 0 03:10GpKP
Jagu 0vs HIG 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
BLU 0vs WAR 0 17:35EP
RED 0vs REB 0 19:40SS
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
SHA 0vs Sunw 0 03:00GpKP
CRU 0vs HUR 0 15:15AMI
HIG 0vs CHF 0 17:35FBS
BRU 0vs FOR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
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STO 0vs King 0 01:05DHL Newlands
CHT 0vs BUL 0 03:10FSS
Jagu 0vs LIO 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
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