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Monday, June 11, 2012

Springboks go one-up in the series with Durban win over England

The Springboks beat England 22-17 in a bruising encounter in Durban on Saturday, going 1-0 up in the three-test series and pleasing new coach Heyneke Meyer. The match had it's casualties, with players from both sides unavailable for the next test.

After a tight and tense first half, the home side had the better of the second, scoring tries through Morne Steyn and new captain, Jean De Villiers. Ben Foden scored a consolation try for England on full time, ending the game on a positive note ahead of the Ellis Park clash next weekend.

New Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer was happy with the result considering the short amount of time they had to prepare. "I'm just happy we got through the first one," he said.

"I must say there were a few nerves in the beginning. Defence on both sides was unbelievable. The difficulty was just having the three days. It was a new start and a totally different game plan.

"A lot of these guys played tough Super Rugby a week ago and we knew England would be fresher and better prepared. There were a few things I was not happy with, especially in the first half, but I was very happy when we got quick ball and quality ball in the second half.

"You could see then that we could be a dangerous side," the former Bulls coach added.

Injuries

England fullback Mike Brown has been ruled out of the rest of the tour with a hand injury and is replaced in the squad by Nick Abendanon, who was already in his former homeland for a friend's wedding. Centre Brad Barritt will miss the second test after he took a bad knock to the eye.

South African fullback Zane Kirchner has been ruled out of the second test with a knee injury. Gio Aplon has been drafted into the squad as cover, and there were also concerns with Coenie Oosthuizen's shoulder, so Bulls front rower Dean Greyling gets a call-up.

England face a South African Barbarians team in a midweek fixture in Kimberly on Wednesday. 

You can view the full match post from South Africa vs England, 1st test, here

Credit: BradleyMcknab

Posted at 3:54 pm | 43 comments

South Africa vs England 2012 - 1st Test - Full Match

Viewing 43 comments

dave June 11, 2012 8:58 pm

I don't know if england can straight up win the battle upfront, although their pack is bigger a lot of the players are boys against men, they will be really impressive in a year or two. Maybe they could win the battle up front, but they would need corbisiero at 1, haskell at 6 and keeping the rest of the pack intact. I think it's more likely they change the backs pairing, with dickson or maybe care at 9 (depending on how he plays in the mid week game, flood at 10, farrell at 12 (this pairing opened up the try for foden at the end of the game) tuilagi at 13 and and the rest the same.
Who else was impressed with england coming back with 6 points after the boks strong showing in the second?
A lot of being a great team is belief in yourself and taking the sword to the other team no matter who they are, I like what Lancaster is doing with the england culture

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Nick June 11, 2012 9:03 pm

I agree with this. The England forwards look good, but green. Given a few years and a few tests and they look like they could be great.

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cool calm and collected June 11, 2012 9:27 pm

the england pack could be great with experience, hopefully come the autumn internationals a few players will be fit again, perhaps looking like this, I hope.

1. Corbisero
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Parling
5. Lawes
6. Johnson
7. Robshaw (c)
8. Morgan

and then u have substitutes like Marler, Webber, Botha and Armitage.
Looks good, no?

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Nick June 11, 2012 8:59 pm

Habana played out of his skin. One of his better performances. England did reasonably well, but lack attacking options in the back line, seemingly because of Farrell's lack of creativity. Flood/Farrell/Tuilagi switch for the next test maybe?

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stroudos June 12, 2012 9:54 am

Flood/Farrell/Tuilagi definitely gets my vote, with Joseph coming on later in the game. I don't agree that Farrell lacks creativity. On the other hand, he is extremely reliable.

Totally agree on Habana - he was awesome.

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cool calm and collected June 11, 2012 9:02 pm

BRUTAL encounter!
I new South Africa were physical, but they were possesed on saturday, hitting everything with legs. However I thought England more than stood up to the challenge, but the pressure towards the end of the game was just to much to handle (as it would be for most teams). South Africa did miss the presence of a flanker who could disrupt the breakdown, they needed Brussow!. Players that stood out - Alberts, Bismark (absolutly awesome - perhaps the best hooker of all time!), de Villers and Habana (almost as good as his old self, perhaps better with his new found phyicality) for SA and Marler, Cole, Parling, Johnson, Robshaw, Brown (I liked the new back three combination), Tuilangi and Foden.

If England our to beat SA, they must not fight fire with fire (Physiclaity with Physicality) as the SA's are the masters of Physiclaity, instead they must suprise them, perhaps using pace not brawn, therfore reason for the inclusion of Wade and Joseph. The subistitutions are key they must make a huge impact and compensate for the tired legs of the rest of the team. Its gonna be tough, but irrespective of the end result, England will have learnt so much for it (more so than Ireland and Australia) and I am aleady looking forward to the autumn internationals, where I belive England could really push the SH teams, perhaps winning 2 form 3 with home advantage.

Team for the next test, taking into account new injuries.

1. Marler
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Parling
5. Plamer
6. Johnson
7. Robshaw (c)
8. Haskell
9. Care
10. Flood
11. Strettle
12. Tuilangi
13. Joseph
14. Ashton
15. Foden

16. Corbisero
17. Mears
18. Botha
19. Dowson
20. Dickson
21. Farell
22. Wade

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dave June 11, 2012 9:11 pm

I like what your thinking for the team, not sure about botha not starting, I think he sets a physical tone for the game and leads a bit by example for his team by leaping in there like a savage.
I think Wade has to have a really big game in the mid week fixture because his defense was a little non existant against the barbarians and it's only going to be worse against the boks
I'm pretty sure foden is going to stay on the wing because he got the only score for england in that role in the last game,
I read Lancaster is bringing in abendanon as full back for the next game, lets hope he stays healthy

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Nick June 11, 2012 9:20 pm

Abendanon is one of those players who rarely does anything magical, but never seems to have a bad game. His lack of electricity is unlikely to get him a permanent fixture in the squad but I reckon he'll do great in a pinch.

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cool calm and collected June 11, 2012 9:23 pm

I agree that Botha brought a physical presence, but somethimes he is left trailing back leaving holes in the defense, whereas Palmer (perhaps not as physical) is much more relible in defense and brings a lot more experience.
Its a risk briging on Wade i know, but he is the perfect man to run the tired sprinbokes ragid (I do though accpept that they will no doubt be the fitter of the two sides, but nevertheless) and to be honest we dont have that many options on the wing, I would prefer Monye to start because he has had a lot more experince of SA rugby, on the lions tour, but he is injured.
I do feel though that it is a big move to start Abendanon at full back, as he has only just joined to squad, however i do agree that Foden was good on the wing and I really liked the back three combinatin.

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stroudos June 12, 2012 9:44 am

Not sure why everyone's suggested England teams for next test on here seem to all involve dropping Farrell, who in my opinion thoroughly deserves his place in the starting team.

I do think, however, there's a strong case for starting the 10-12-13 axis that finished this game - ie Flood at 10, Farrell 12, Tuilagi 13, (with Barritt's unfortunate injury this combo seems to pick itself anyway). To my mind, this offers just the right blend of creativity, physicality, solidity in defence and pace. Definitely keen to see Joseph have a run but I suggest bringing him on after about 55 minutes to inject a bit of extra pace at a time when it will make the most difference.

I want Farrell to have kicking responsibilities too. Don't know the stats but I reckon he's slightly more consistent than Flood. He doesn't seem to show any nerves either. More importantly I love that psychotic dead-eye stare during his set-up, such a refreshing contrast to that dreadful "I'm taking a shit in the middle of the pitch" pose Flood has picked up from his mentor King Jonny.

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Guy June 11, 2012 9:08 pm

That looked like one hell of an intense match!

And I am sitting here in Europe with all weekend nothing on tv but that bloody Euro 2012 soccer opera...

So: thanks RD, for posting the highlights! I guess this is the next best solution for rugby starvation.

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stroudos June 12, 2012 9:47 am

Guy, I know exactly how feel mate. I keep forgetting what game I'm watching and thinking "shit, is he all right?" when I see blokes rolling around on the ground. I used to like both sports roughly equally; these days I just can't stand the roundball shit.

By the way, in case you missed the link to the full game in RD's write-up above - http://www.rugbydump.com/2012/06/2630/south-africa-vs-england-2012-1st-test-full-match.

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Guy June 12, 2012 11:16 pm

Excellent! I did miss that link. Thats going to be one and a half hour of quality time this weekend.

Last saturday I was actually sitting with my back turned to the television, trying to get the rugby updates on my mobile phone. Compared to the level of commitment these teams play and the amount of blood they spill for their respective countries...football is just pathetic.

Thanks for that link. I will read the intros by RD a bit better next time ;-)

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cool calm and collected June 11, 2012 9:39 pm

Robshaw for lions 7, and captain?

I think he stands a chance, i mean he is a proven great leader, and actually looks to be the makings of a really good payer, 21 TACKLES AND 4 TURNOVERS against SA in first test, more than any other player ! (this is not the first time either that he has led the turnover, tackle stats)
I do accept that Warbuton is the front runner, but he was outmuscled by Pocock ths weekend, perhaps a won off, but I have yet to see Robshaw put in a single bad performance, for England and Harlequins.
Definalty the right man to lead england forward to the world cup! only 26, but the experince of a 35 year old veternan, 100 cap international.

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anonymous no7 June 11, 2012 10:35 pm

Interesting stats, what sort of fascinates me is how you never really notice Robshaw unless you properly watch him. I remember when he first hit the scene for Quins thinking he doesn't really do much but noticing just a general solidity to him. You sort of barely notice him but if you watch him he is always there doing the basics very well, all of the time.

Warburton is a very different type of player and captain, he just appears to be more explosive and noticeable (at least in the WC) but recently he seems to be shut down defensively when players start sniping and picking and driving around the fringes - kind of makes me wonder if teams have begun to figure him out? I think we need to see how the respective series progress - I can see SA improving massively now that they've been together and the same for Wales so I think we need to wait and see how it pans out.

Also I'd throw in a dark horse candidate for Lions captain, someone who I think has been one of the best rugby players over the last 18 or so months - Dan Lydiate, surely the favourite for the no 6 jersey?

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Reality June 11, 2012 10:46 pm

I have to disagree there about Lydiate. I actually didn't even realise he was playing in the Six Nations, and then he was voted Player of the Tournament; it was a travesty. Stephen Ferris is by far the best blindside in Britain and Ireland, and if he's fit he'll surely start, unless Gatland picks Lydiate out of loyalty. I'd say he'd be a terrible captain, but he's undoubtedly better than Lydiate.

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anonymous no7 June 12, 2012 1:34 am

Again like Robshaw and Warburton I think they are very different, Lydiate is deceptively good at the breakdown and he's actually quite mobile and I can't remember him missing a tackle. I think he offers a lot when things are tight and hes another player thats always doing the simple stuff well. He bossed the French in the 6N and they haven't got a half bad back row..

Ferris is definetely more dynamic and I think had the highest tackle count for the Irish but I still don't think we saw him in the kind of form he's been in in the past, he wasn't helped by some dodgy decisions and his teammates at the 6N and it meant we didn't actually see much of his attacking game which is beastly (Lions 09 comes to mind). Based on that I just see Lydiate as the favourite right now although my mind may change if the wales back row fail to contain the aussies in the two games.

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stroudos June 12, 2012 9:28 am

Lydiate was awesome in the six nations. Haven't seen such a comprehensive tree-cutting performance since Melonhead Worseley was tasked with shutting Jamie Roberts down a few years ago. Difference here was Lydiate was chopping players down throughout the game over the course of the entire tourny. Whether he's better than Ferris or not, I don't know - but he's definitely a cracking player.

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GunshowMckenzie June 14, 2012 6:38 pm

Are you kidding? I am a Wales fan, but I think even impartial rugby fans have to say that, defensively at least, Lydiate was the best 6 in the 6 Nations. I don't remember him ever missing a tackle, and he tackles in such an aggressive (or active is maybe a better word) manner than it stops the opposition getting over the gain line.

Offensively Ferris is a better ball carrier IMO, and I do rate him very highly, but I thought Lydiate's award was fair, and in the Wales - Australia game last saturday I thought he was one of the best Welsh players without question.

As for another flanker... Willem Alberts, what a tank! I don't know if I've even seen a ball carrier that destructive and dynamic. How come he only has about 10 caps? I suppose he was kept out the squad by Burger, and Brussow?

It will be difficult for any of the northern hemisphere teams to get a win now I think. I don't think any of the 6 nations teams would win against NZ, Wales will think they can win the series, maybe they can, and if England get one win now I think that would be a good effort.

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Frosties June 12, 2012 5:19 pm

I think Lydiate is a good player but he really did not deserve to be player of the 6N. Jonathan Davies started getting a hard on for him a few games from the end and then spent the next few Welsh games showing replays of Lydiate making bog standard tackles and creaming his pants over him. There was a series of great stat articles on players performances throughout the 6N in each position on the 606V2 website. Lydiate didn't top any category for backrow players (tackles made, rucks hit, turnovers etc). He came in around 3rd for most whereas Ferris was top in virtually every category and showed who the best 6 was in the tournament. For me, player of the tournament was Richie Gray, going to be phenomenal if he keeps fit and continues to develop. A note on the england team for this Saturday, 9.Dickson (youngs benched) 10. Flood 12. Farrell 13. Tuilagi (joseph on the bench) 14. Ashton 11. Monye (if fit) 15. Foden (Abendadon on the bench)

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Reality June 15, 2012 7:25 pm

I don't know; I don't think not missing any tackles should be enough to win the award. I don't recall Ferris (among others) missing any tackles either, and the thing about Ferris is that he puts in these massive, momentum-stopping hits every so often after rushing out of the line, the kind where the commentators sort of gasp in appreciation of how effective they are, which really lift a team, whereas I think Lydiate is just a bit anonymous. Maybe he does make his tackles, but so do many, many others, and I don't think he offers much in attack.

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stroudos June 12, 2012 9:58 am

anonymous no7: "what sort of fascinates me is how you never really notice Robshaw unless you properly watch him".

Perfect definition of an effective openside, no?

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Morgs June 13, 2012 10:21 am

Spot on - could be said of most great back row players. Rhichard Hill was a perfect example. It was nice to hear the reff actually praising Robshaw for his fetching.

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This comment has been removed

thamesrowingclub June 12, 2012 3:12 am

Those old school green Springbok blazers with the yellow piping are sweet!

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Pretzel June 12, 2012 3:24 am

definitely look the part :)

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Javier Xavier June 12, 2012 4:50 am

haha, sa scrumhalf caught some friendly fire at 4:12...never knew what hit him, good for him for getting up from that one

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Ulf June 12, 2012 8:30 am

Trully WTF moment : )
What was the guy thinking ?

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stroudos June 12, 2012 9:31 am

Good spot! That is brilliant. "Out the way mate, we're doing forwards shit here".

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Pretzel June 12, 2012 11:31 am

Lol brilliant spot!!! I like how he was a bit slow to get up, but then gave a scoring pass...

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John Smith June 12, 2012 7:29 am

My team for the next South African Test:
Joe Marler
Dylan Hartley
Dan Cole
Geoff Parling
Tom Palmer
Tom Johnson
Chris Robshaw
Ben Morgan

Danny Care
Toby Flood
Dave Strettle
Manu Tuilagi
Jonathan Josephs
Ben Foden
Alex Goode

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katman June 12, 2012 8:08 am

This was not the prettiest game ever, but it certainly was a classic test match. Brutal tackles and ruck cleans, evenly matched in the set pieces, lots of nerves from a handful of new faces… And one gets the feeling both teams are going to be a good deal stronger for the second test.

Give or take a couple of positions, I like the look of this England team. The back row has a good balance, and then they still have Croft to return. The backs were solid but not spectacular. Personally I prefer Foden at 15, but he was decent on the wing. The starting front row did okay, but things fell apart when the replacement loosehead came on.

The Boks were rusty in the first 40 minutes, which is understandable. Habana, Alberts, Bismarck and the new flank, Coetzee, were very good, and probably the difference between these teams. De Villiers also had a good game for his first run at captain. Encouraging to know that this pack contained three debutants, two of whom (Coetzee and Etzebeth) are barely in their twenties. And there were strong calls for a couple more twenty year olds (Siya Kolisi, Steven Kitshoff) to be included in the squad. Bodes well for the future.

Can’t wait for the second test.

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Facepalm June 12, 2012 9:50 am

Mike Brown being out is not Goode. See what I did there?
If England want to avoid humiliation this is the team they need to field.

1) Marler
2) Hartley
3) Cole
4) Botha
5) Parling
6) Haskell (He will be better at resisting the South African attack than Johnson)
7) Robshaw
8) Morgan

9) Youngs
10) Flood (Can actually play attacking rugby)
11) Foden
12) Farrell (Kicks the goals)
13) Tuilagi
14) Ashton/Joseph (Not sure who I would pick)
15) Goode

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stroudos June 12, 2012 10:02 am

Is there a more stereotypically South African looking bloke than Jean de Villiers? You could put him in a crowd of 2,000 people and a game of spot-the-Saffa would still only last a few seconds.

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katman June 12, 2012 10:43 am

For SA, Kirchner is out injured. Gio Aplon of the Stormers has been drafted into the squad, so it looks like Lambie to start at 15 and Aplon to cover wings and fullback from the bench. He can be devastating when running at tiring defenses and many (including myself) feel he should have been there from the start.

Also injury doubts over Coenie Oosthuizen, so Dean Greyling from the Bulls has been called up to provide front row cover. Not as mobile and destructive as Coenie in the loose, but arguably a stronger scrummager.

Other than that, same team as last week.

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Silky June 12, 2012 3:14 pm

didnt see the game cos of work. looking forward to seeing Abendanon have a run out. hope he makes a good impression, he works really hard on and off the ball

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FatProp June 12, 2012 3:43 pm

I have heard some pundits sying that tuilagi should be playing 12. I just dont think that it would be a good idea, he always rushes out of defence and would leave the 10 wide open. The team I would like to see

1. Marler
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Parling
5. Palmer
6. Haskell
7. Robshaw
8. Morgan though i would like to see waldrom at international level

9. Youngs
10. Flood
11. Foden
12. Allen
13. Tuilagi
14. Monye dont know if he is fit ?
15. Abendanon

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Jaded Forward June 12, 2012 6:37 pm

Anyone else here REALLY bored of watching penalties get kicked? This wasn't 10 minutes of highlights- it was 4 minutes of highlights, 1 minute of needless intro, and 5 minutes of watching some dude hit the ball with his foot without anyone else around. YAAAAWWWWN.

Can't complain without offering an alternative, so: reduce kick points to 2 (make it less appealing) and make every penalty offense where a kick at goal is an option a bin-able (but for less time) offense. Reward teams for having the balls to run the ball after a penalty by having the offending player sit for even just 30 seconds or a minute. They wouldn't be binned if the awarded team chooses to kick for goal. It always makes me sick to see a penalty get kicked from within the 22, and being able to choose to run the ball or go for a lineout against 14 men (briefly) would be a lot more appealing IMO.

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Pretzel June 12, 2012 8:06 pm

I think its a tough one... I started writing out a reply which was in total agreement with you, but then part of me thought well its not quite right really... Part of me said drop goals should stay as 3 points but penalty kicks should be reduced to 2, but then the other part of me said that in some ways that is rewarding the offending team... it is a lesser punishment for being an a-hole... I think maybe the focus should be on punishing offending players so that they do not behave in such a manner...

Scenario: My team is playing your team, we have great runners, but our discipline is appalling, whereas your team has a fairly average player level, but you have brilliant discipline... So my team goes up 12-0, but our lack of discipline kicks in and we start slowing down your well worked ball... you get into decent positions and we f it all up for you by lying in the way and slowing it all down, would it be fair for your team (which is 12 points down) to be almost coerced into going for the lineout because you know that a 2 point kick is not really worth it? So basically my team can play around all day and you guys suffer as a result?..

I'm not saying your alternative is a bad one, just throwing a little something into the mix to consider...

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Muzza June 13, 2012 3:02 pm

Was it just my imagination or did one of those Bokkes knock himself senseless at around 4:08 hitting that ruck. First up he nearly botched it for the halfback and then after the play he looked to be lying out cold on the floor. Nutter.

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Ben June 14, 2012 10:22 am

Hahaha check out the angry fan at 08:10 in the background shouting at some idiot who blocks his view just as Ben Foden scores right in front of him. I would go mental!

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