England made a mockery of South Africa’s 10-year unbeaten record in London by soundly beating the Springboks 37-21 at Twickenham on Saturday.
England scored four tries against the Boks two, but in all reality the Boks’ tries arrived at a time when England were well out of sight.
That signalled England’s 10th straight win under coach Eddie Jones, while the Boks stumbled to their sixth loss in 10 Tests and five from their last seven.
While the Boks lost lock Eben Etzebeth to concussion in the 30th minute to be replaced by Franco Mostert, the Bok plan to out-muscle England upfront failed dismally.
The experiment of Willem Alberts at 6 and Pieter-Steph du Toit also failed, resulting in England No 8 Billy Vunipola looking like a world beater.
Defence again let the Boks down badly and from the moment leftwing Johnny May scored England’s opening try in the 10th minute to take the lead at 7-6 after fullback Mike Brown cleverly exploited the man over, it left the Boks defence in disarray.
The Boks started well enough to open up a lead of 6-0 after a penalty from flyhalf Pat Lambie in the fourth minute, followed up with a drop goal in the eighth.
Lambie’s second penalty in the 21st minute briefly put the Boks back in the lead at 9-7, but a penalty from England No 12 Owen Farrell put the home team back in front at 10-9 after 34 minutes.
It was, however, England’s second try by lock Courtney Lawes – albeit a bit controversially – in the 36th minute for a 17-9 lead that signalled the beginning of the end.
It appeared the ball was knocked on by Brown but referee Jerome Garces ruled that it came back from a Lambie touch and it was awarded.
With Farrell landing the conversion and another penalty added on the stroke of half-time by debutant centre Elliot Daly, the home side went up 20-9.
The Boks’ first try by replacement flyhalf Johan Goosen after a good move despite a suspect forward pass from debutant centre Francois Venter to No 8 Warren Whiteley changed the score to 30-14 by the 59thminute.
The second try by fullback Willie le Roux in the 78th minute when England were already leading 37-14 was only a consolation effort, with wing Ruan Combrinck making a great touchline conversion.
It was England fly-half George Ford’s try three minutes after the break that put the home team up 27-9 after Farrell made the conversion, while the fourth try was scored by Farrell in the 67th minute to change the score to 37-14 after replacement Danny Carry caught Bok No 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit badly out of position on defence.