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out­stand­ing in giv­ing their team di­rec­tion, pace and the X-fac­tor.

In a quite ex­tra­or­di­nary first half Eng­land raced into a 24-3 lead af­ter scor­ing three tries to a sole penalty by the Boks and looked to be on their way to spoil­ing one of South African rugby’s big­gest days.

But a late first-half rally by the home team saw them do the near un­think­able and not only catch the vis­i­tors but soar past them with some out­stand­ing tries of their own.

Eng­land’s Mike Brown, El­liot Daly and Owen Far­rell crossed the try-line in an open­ing spell that would have had the most op­ti­mistic Bok fan wor­ried and won­der­ing how much Eng­land were go­ing to score on the day.

They dom­i­nated the col­li­sions, spread the ball wide and found acres of space at the back; the home team’s de­fence nowhere to be seen.

But it wasn’t only the rush­ing up and in from the wings that al­lowed Eng­land’s backs to have a field-day, in­di­vid­u­als also missed one on one tack­les; and fly­half Han­dre Pol­lard won’t want to see his missed ef­fort when Brown scored early on.

But just when it seemed as if the only fire­works the Bok fans would see where those that were shot into the night sky be­fore kick-off, they hit back – and in some fash­ion.

On the 20-minute mark, De Klerk showed great strength to stretch out his arm to dot the ball over the try­line af­ter Nkosi had been stopped short to give the Boks hope, and 10 min­utes later it was Nkosi’s turn to get a first Test try.

Af­ter his for­wards had taken the ball through phases, he kicked it ahead and dot­ted down af­ter Daly had missed the rolling ball.

The con­ver­sion got the Boks to within nine points and that gap closed to two min­utes later when Nkosi got his sec­ond, af­ter the ball had again been spread wide quickly and Dyan­tyi has done ex­cel­lently to flip the ball in­side for his wing part­ner.

The fight­back was com­pleted two min­utes from half-time when Wil­lie le Roux showed pace to fin­ish off an­other quickly spread ball by the play­ers on his in­side.

It was a re­mark­able few min­utes by the Boks, who turned around a 21-point deficit in 20 min­utes to lead by two at the break.

The sec­ond 40 was hardly as spec­tac­u­lar as the first, but the Boks, with mo­men­tum be­hind them and their con­fi­dence grow­ing by the minute, pow­ered on.

With bench-men Steven Kit­shoff, Thomas du Toit, Akker van der Merwe and Pi­eter-steph du Toit on, the home team con­tin­ued to pile on the pres­sure up front and ask ques­tions at the back.

The Boks were re­warded for their ef­forts, but Pol­lard missed two shots at goal, con­vert­ing one other, but Dyan­tyi’s well­taken con­verted try on 65 min­utes saw the Boks into a 12-point lead.

And while Eng­land did man­age to cross the try-line again, through Maro Itoje and Jonny May in the fi­nal 10 min­utes, a Pol­lard penalty sand­wiched in be­tween en­sured the Boks hung on for the win – and a fa­mous, fa­mous vic­tory.

A new dawn in Spring­bok rugby has be­gun..

As much as the day be­longed to Kolisi co­in­ci­den­tally at the very same sta­dium and in the same num­ber jer­sey worn by the late Nel­son Man­dela on that mem­o­rable day 23 years ago when the Boks won the World Cup, this was a vic­tory for the ages.

It was the new faces like wing and two try hero Sibu­siso Nkosi along with his fel­low debu­tants lock RG Sny­man, Aphiwe Dyan­tyi, who also scored a try, and live wire scrumhalf Faf de Klerk that will give the Spring­boks hope in the two re­main­ing matches of the se­ries. THE Bl­itzboks yes­ter­day ad­vanced to the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Paris Sevens but made heavy weather of their first two pool games be­fore play­ing far bet­ter in the third, and they will want to take the lat­ter form into to­day.

The South Africans are still in the run­ning to win the event and thus de­fend the ti­tle they won here in Paris last year, but they came within a whisker of miss­ing the quar­ters when they first lost to Scot­land and then had to rely on a score on the fi­nal hooter to sneak past Rus­sia.

The Boks saved their best for last to out­play a Canada side that had ear­lier thrashed Scot­land, who had com­pre­hen­sively beaten the Boks in their open­ing game in the morn­ing.

The Scots won that game 14-12 with a last-sec­ond con­ver­sion. They had scored first through Rob­bie Fer­gu­son, which was can­celled out by a fine in­di­vid­ual try by Justin Geduld. And the Boks went ahead af­ter a strong fin­ish by Se­abelo Se­natla only for Scot­land’s Har­vey Elms to equalise on full-time. The con­ver­sion was good and the Boks had de­servedly lost.

The Boks had been asleep in that game and noth­ing changed in their game against Rus­sia. Shortly af­ter kick-off, cap­tain Vladimir Ostroushko scored af­ter han­dling off a num­ber of de­fend­ers. It was poor de­fence in­deed, and that was again the case when the stocky skip­per scored his sec­ond try.

Werner Kok, a for­mer World Se­ries Player of the Year, scored with South Africa’s first touch of the ball, two min­utes be­fore half-time and then came the Boks’ best mo­ment of the day when Siviwe Soy­izwapi weaved his way through a host of de­fend­ers. It was 14-14 at half-time and the Rus­sians went ahead again when Yurt Gostyuzhev scored. With 30 sec­onds re­main­ing, Se­abelo Se­natla scored to make it 19-19, and the last sec­ond con­ver­sion spared the South Africans’ blushes.

The Bl­itzboks burst into life against the un­beaten Cana­di­ans, over­whelm­ing them 28-0, with con­verted tries go­ing

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