On-form Far­rell gives Eng­land the edge

The Herald on Sunday - - SPORT -

OWEN Far­rell struck a late penalty to pro­pel Eng­land to a 12-11 vic­tory over South Africa in a grip­ping start to their Au­tumn Test se­ries at Twick­en­ham.

It marks two straight vic­to­ries for Eng­land and head coach Ed­die Jones praised his squad’s ef­forts. “We’ve lost a few games … we played tough and we won,” he said. “When you get in those arm wres­tles, some­one’s got to give. We didn’t give.”

Far­rell landed a dif­fi­cult kick in the 73rd minute that de­cided the Quil­ter In­ter­na­tional, but the Sara­cens fly-half was then un­der the spot­light in in­jury time.

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

But the Aus­tralian of­fi­cial de­cided Eng­land 12 South Africa 11 Ire­land 54 Italy 7 Ja­pan 31 New Zealand 69 Wales 21 Scot­land 10 Benet­ton Tre­viso 10 Ul­ster 15 Con­nacht 33 Drag­ons 12 Far­rell’s tackle was le­gal to deny South Africa a kick­able penalty.

Eng­land were un­der siege for vir­tu­ally the en­tire first half, but showed re­solve in de­fence to limit the half-time deficit to 8-6.

The Spring­boks pounded away at Eng­land’s line time and again but had only a try by Sbu Nkosi to show for their ef­forts.

Re­mark­ably, Eng­land snatched the lead through El­liot Daly’s 51st-minute penalty with­out hav­ing made a sin­gle visit to South Africa’s 22 un­til that point.

South Africa could have won it at the death, only for a long-range penalty by Han­dre Pol­lard to brush the right up­right be­fore a late surge was foiled by Far­rell’s tackle on War­ren White­ley.

Eng­land drew re­peated warn­ings from Gard­ner with Maro Itoje his main tar­get. By the 16th minute Itoje alone had con­ceded three penal­ties, the third of which was ac­com­pa­nied by a yel­low card.

South Africa bat­tered away at the line and Jonny May was the next to rep­ri­manded by Gard­ner, who threat­ened a sin-bin­ning for the next of­fence, as he sneaked in off-side.

Soon af­ter Far­rell landed a lon­grange penalty to can­cel out an early three points from Pol­lard.

The Spring­boks re­newed their at­tack with De Al­lende the spear­head and Nkosi raced in at the right cor­ner.

The chaotic play un­fold­ing in the sec­ond half suited Eng­land and Daly kicked them ahead from close to the half­way line. Then, when Far­rell split the de­fence with a bril­liant show and go, the Spring­boks were reel­ing once more.

Pol­lard booted a 45-me­tre penalty to wres­tle back the lead but Eng­land came again. Far­rell de­liv­ered the win­ning points amid a dra­matic cli­max.

In Tokyo, Ngani Laumape scored a hat-trick and Ge­orge Bridge came off the bench to mark his de­but with two tries as New Zealand beat Ja­pan 69-31 in Tokyo.

No.10 Richie Mo’unga kicked an early penalty be­fore the Brave Blos­soms went ahead with a con­verted try from Sa­muela Anise af­ter he charged down an at­tempted clear­ance.

New Zealand soon re­asserted their author­ity. Hooker Dane Coles, Mo’unga and Hur­ri­canes mid­fielder Laumape all went over to see the vis­i­tors lead 24-7 with half an hour played.

Ja­pan re­sponded again through Hen­drik Tui, but the All Blacks went into half-time with a 38-19 ad­van­tage.

Te Toiroa Tahu­ri­o­rangi, with a first Test try, and Laumape both touched down be­fore Ja­pan added an un­con­verted score from Tim Lafaele.

It was soon more one-way traf­fic and Can­ter­bury winger Ge­orge Bridge went over to mark his Test de­but with a try.

Al­though Jamie Henry added an­other Ja­pan try in the cor­ner, fur­ther ef­forts from Waisake Na­holo and Matt Proc­tor, set up af­ter Bridge had col­lected his own kick down­field, made it 57-24 to New Zealand on the hour.

Laumape com­pleted his hat-trick soon af­ter and Bridge chalked up his sec­ond try of the match, be­fore Lafaele added an­other con­so­la­tion score for the hosts late on.

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