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Springboks smash England at Twickenham to end 2022 on a high

A brilliant all-round performance from the Springboks gave them the perfect end to their international season as they powered their way to a superb 27-13 (halftime 14-3) win over England at Twickenham on Saturday night.

It was the Boks first win at the ground since 2014, and was built on a monster performance from their forwards who absolutely dominated the English pack from start to finish, while some unpredictable play also contributed in the hosts looking clueless for most of the game.

The Boks were also made to work hard for the win in the final quarter after replacement prop Thomas du Toit received a deserved red card for a shoulder to the head of England replacement hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie.

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It was a cagey opening to the match from both sides and both had a chance to take an early need, with Bok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk missing a shot from an angle, before England captain Owen Farrell surprisingly missed one from in front.

Farrell was on target with his next shot in the 13th minute, however the Boks responded through De Klerk five minutes later to level the scores at three-a-piece.

It had been a tight encounter for the first 30 minutes, but the game then burst to life in the 10 minutes of the half, starting with flyhalf Damian Willemse knocking over a snap drop goal in the 31st minute.

A minute later the Boks were then in for their first try as a kick downfield from England flyhalf Marcus Smith was fielded by Willemse on his 22m, with him breaking to the halfway, offloading to fullback Willie le Roux, who in turn found wing Kurt-Lee Arendse, to step Smith and score in the corner.

De Klerk missed the conversion, but made up for that with a penalty just before the break as the Boks went into halftime with a 14-3 lead.

Perfect start

The second half then started with Willemse nailing another good drop goal, giving the Boks the perfect start.

England then hit back in the 45th minute with a penalty to Farrell, but two minutes later with the Boks in their 22m, another penalty, with the team on a warning, saw flank Tm Curry yellow carded.

The Boks then set up the lineout and attacked, getting close, allowing lock Eben Etzebeth to crash over under the sticks, and De Klerk convert to put them into a 24-6 lead after 49 minutes.

Another successful De Klerk penalty in the 57th minute then gave the Boks a monster 21 point lead.

But three minutes later Du Toit, having just come on, received his marching orders reducing the Boks to 14-men for the rest of the match.

England with the extra man now finally managed to build up a head of steam, but some impressive desperate defence from the Boks managed to keep them out initially.

The hosts finally managed to break through in the 71st minute, as from a penalty in the Boks 22m, England replacement scrumhalf Ben Youngs took a quick tap, with Farrell making some metres and replacement back Henry Slade then getting over for the converted score to make it 27-13.

The Boks then managed the game superbly in the final few minutes as they kept play deep in England’s half for most of it, which allowed them to safely see out the match.

Scorers

England: Try – Henry Slade; Conversion – Owen Farrell; Penalties – Farrell (2)

Springboks: Tries – Kurt-Lee Arendse, Eben Etzebeth; Conversion – Faf de Klerk; Penalties – De Klerk (3); Drop Goals – Damian Willemse (2)

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