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Farrell leads England to tense South Africa win

04 November, 2018, 20:57 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Springboks fans are some of the most passionate in the world

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus was in fine form when asked about the legality of England flyhalf Owen Farrell's hit on replacement centre Andre Esterhuizen.

With the clock in red and England defending with everything they had to try and keep the Boks out, Farrell rushed off his line with a vicious tackle that went to the TMO.

"We can't wait, mate", he said.

He appeared to lead with the shoulder in tackling Andre Esterhuizen, an offence that under the current crackdown on unsafe tackles could have resulted in a red card being issued by referee Angus Gardner.

Anyway, you can get cited now for something you did at a party when you were 15.

But the officials decided Farrell had made enough of a legal challenge not to award a penalty that could have seen South Africa snatch victory.

Farrell was just short of distance with a penalty but put that behind him by finding his range and sending England back in front after the South Africa scrum buckled, and he had the final say with a powerful hit on Esterhuizen following Pollard's miss. We're going to spend more time together now, have got another week but to get that result and being mentally tough was important.

England ended a five-match winless streak with victory over South Africa in the third June Test in Cape Town and have now won two straight games ahead of the visit of world champions New Zealand to Twickenham next Saturday.

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However, they were without several key players on Saturday, most notably scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, due to the game falling outside the global window.

Jones hinted at frustration with the penalties conceded, though, and Maro Itoje was sin-binned early on.

The incident was a major talking point after South Africa agonisingly lost 11-12 to the hosts at Twickenham.

Farrell, who was yellow carded for a similar hit late in the defeat by Australia that ended England's World Cup hopes in 2015, could still be punished if the citing commissioner deems Saturday's hit worthy of a red card.

You couldn't question England's desire during the opening match of their "autumn series", but if they are to have any chance of gazumping the New Zealanders at headquarters next weekend they will surely need to find ways to add some energy and variety to their attack.

"We hung in there long enough and when young guys do that it's a really good sign of their future in test match rugby".

Erasmus said key lock Eben Etzebeth will miss that game and potentially the rest of the tour after suffering an ankle injury early in the second half.

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