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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chris Ashton's huge hit on Gio Aplon and Ryan Kankowski's on Thomas Waldrom

South Africa and England drew 14-14 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth yesterday in what was the third and final Test of their three-match series. The match was scrappy for the most part, but there were some great hits throughout.

England were much improved and came close to a win, despite the series having already been decided by South Africa in Durban and Johannesburg. England coach Stuart Lancaster said that even though they leave the country with a 2-0 series loss, there were positives to work with.

"It has been a fantastic opportunity to take a wider group of players and work with them," he said.

"In the last Test we could have used every excuse not to put in a performance but we didn't. We rolled our sleeves up and fought to the end. We possibly could have edged it at the end."

Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer was pleased with the series win, but is concerned with the form of star kicking flyhalf Morne Steyn, who was uncharacteristically off with the boot.

"Morne is a worry at the moment as we know he is not playing well, but I thought he played well in the previous two games, it was just his kicking that was off," he said.

"He has high standards and will come back stronger with at least three Super games to get himself right and he knows we need him in the Rugby Championship. I have a lot of confidence in him although he is not striking the ball well now."

The match could have been different if Steyn kicked as well as usual, but as it was things went down to the wire, and both sides bashed eachother about for the full eighty minutes.

Below are two of the biggest hits of the game, and perhaps the series, as Chris Ashton smashed little Gio Aplon, then Ryan Kankowski let Thomas Waldrom know he was on the field.

Highlights from the match will be archived soon

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Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play

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