England v South Africa: Rate the Match

Twickenham

What did you think of the game today? Give the match a rating out of ten, and you can share your thoughts in the comments below, discussing the match with fellow fans.

Who played well? What needs working on ahead of next week?

England v South Africa: Rate the Match

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63 thoughts on “England v South Africa: Rate the Match

  1. Thrilling finish! Thought the decision on the final tackle was correct – didn’t hit the head and looked sufficiently like Farrell was trying to wrap his arms. Pollard will be very disappointed with that last kick.

    From an England perspective, I thought Sinclair and Wilson were really good up front. Daly missed a couple of chances to get it early to May, who was also sharp. But we were clearly too lightweight in the first half – I suspect EJ will keep the front row as is though, perhaps the right decision given the lighter weight packs yet to come this autumn?




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    1. Hendog, I take it you’re not S African. Farrell’s ‘trying to wrap his arms’ in the tackle, is NOT actually wrapping his arms. It was an officials’ fudge. End of. If it had been committed by SA on an England player, would you have been so generous in yr ‘opinion’, for that’s what it is. It may/not have changed the result. We’ll never know. On another occasion though, 1 of OF’s ‘tackles’ will risk his receiving a card. Maybe nxt Sat?




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    2. It was telling that Hepburn was removed at HT Hendog. According to Sky sports, he’s just under sixteen stone which is very light for a modern prop. I’m guessing Moon will start next week . alongside Sinkler. Williams was excellent when he came on though.




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  2. An arm wrestle. SA back? Marx the best in the world? Maybe/not. England got (Eddie) out of jail? Or was it the TMO? Probably. SA frittered it away in the 1st 1/2 by effing up their line outs & on the occasion when Itoje got pinged (again), by not taking the scrum v 7. Dumb or what? 2nd 1/2, England gained some parity territory/ possession wise & Farrell kicked their goals which, in the end, won it. Pollard blew it. The ref/TMO also blew it @ the death. If ever there was a shoulder tackle, that was it by Farrell. No ? Kaino got 5 for a lesser, arms enveloping tackle. Them’s the breaks. Will this, over kicking, lack of try scoring performance, do for NZ? Does EJ field the same (injury/ies permitting) team, or does he change props, midfield for instance? Unlikely to both?




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    1. Don, I have just rewatched the Kaino tackle. It was not “lesser” as you put it, however my opinion was that it was pretty much the same as Farrell’s. In this case, I have to say that if we are being consistent, then Farrell should probably get a 5 game ban. That would be interesting for EJ!




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      1. Staggy, I guess we see what we want to see then. Kaino’s tackle was chest to chest. His arms came up & around his opponent in an enveloping movement (not a complete bear hug initially) who he then drove backwards on to the ground. Without using his arms to grasp his opponent it would have been somewhat (impossible?) difficult to have done this. Farrell’s tackle differed as he was side on when led with his right shoulder which therefore made it impossible to use this arm to envelope his victim. His left arm on impact was dangling, not enveloping either as this action was also not possible due to his body angle. Stuart Barnes also agreed it was illegal ‘tackle’.




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        1. OK I do agree with these comments. The tackle is obviously in the eye of the beholder. Many have said that the tackle was legal, quite a few that it wasn’t. I guess the ref and the other officials were the important ones and it looks as though the citing officer didn’t want to undermine the ref.

          The tackle area and its officiating remains a mess.




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          1. Staggy, it is a mess. Should the 2 AB’s have been redded for ‘tackling’ each other & clashing their heads together? @ times refs cherry pick how they interpret the laws instead of applying them. Also, IMO, Cipriani’s for instance, should never have been red. The carrier was dipping in the tackle & there was no backward head jerk from him. The ‘impact’ was technical & incidental, yet the guy carrying has NO responsibility whatsoever in this situation. Wrong, wrong, wrong!




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  3. We got out of jail with that one! SA will be ruing the first half when we were really hanging on. Much better second period. When we play at pace we look dangerous. EJ has bought himself a stay of execution until next week at least!

    The most annoying thing was persisting with going high on De Allende etc, when chop tackles were needed. Several players were guilty of it and it brings game intelligence back into sharp focus (as well as tackling technique or lack of).

    May was excellent again, he is on the road to world class. The pick of the forwards was Wilson for me. I hope he gets a run now. On the other hand…. Shields was bloody awful. How he gets in and Dave Ewers does not is just mystifying.




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    1. Acee, May can certainly be dangerous on attack. However, he may need to brush up on defence as it was HIS opposite no who scored SA’s try whilst J Boy was AWOL.




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  4. No where near good enough. Get the scrummaging props on first and a proper no.8. Without grunt no team gets go forward. Simple really.




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    1. Steve, odd, not about the props, locks, but the loose fwds. Acee reckoned Shields was useless, you reckoned on another No.8, although Wilson got the MotM award & as Currey went off injured, I don’t know. However, as the pack gained a measure of parity in the 2nd 1/2 , why would Jones, injury permitting, change his pack, or @ least back row? Do you think Jones will?




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      1. i thought Wilson was the pick of the back row Don. Re shields , the way he absolutely butchered a scoring opportunity with that stupid attempt at a basketball pass made my blood boil.
        Something about the whole way he’s leapfrogged other more obvious and to my mind, better candidates ,just leaves a bad taste and what he did today just serves to reinforce the negativity towards him.




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        1. Acee, you’re not the only 1 whom seems to have downer on Shields. Mentioned elsewhere that I don’t have a particular view on him yet as it’s too early for an objective 1. He does have a track record however & the S Rugby winning Canes surely wouldn’t have made him captain if he were a goorey (mongrel). That he’s been catapulted into the England team is not his fault. Would you have expected to have turned down an opportunity to play internationally? The offload didn’t ‘t work, but it could have. He effected it a margin late. If it had come off, we wouldn’t be having this ‘conversation’. In comparison, I don’t see similar flak for Itoje’s card, or Farrell’s illegal hit. They both could have & probably should have, cost England; even the game. You ‘re entitled to yr views. However, there seems to be some subjectivity when it comes to Shields. Bit disappointing.




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  5. The obvious reason why Farrell didn’t get red carded is because unlike the other highlighted instances in the recent H cup games, he didn’t make contact with the head, this to me is nothing more than luck as fortunately the centre didn’t duck going in to the collision. Given Farrels tackling technique, I think he can consider him self very lucky. Even as a biased England fan, for me it should have been yellow, no clear and obvious attempt to wrap the arm and there fore dangerous play. Would have been red if his arm hadn’t been slightly raised or he made contact with the head. England got out of jail, left the country and is now living with diplomatic immunity, until next week…




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    1. But surely that’s the point – the tackle didn’t connect with the head. I sense Farrell rarely gets the benefit of the doubt from England fans where Wilkinson might….?




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      1. Hendog do you really think Farrels tackle wasn’t at least a penalty when you take in to consideration the tackle laws as they are and in the name of refereeing consistency?
        Making comparisons with former players is a mute point when the laws have changed so much in this area, the Alesana Tuliagi and Brian Lima big hit show reels that we celebrate would now result in a barrage of cards.




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        1. I think it was within the laws. Sufficient intent to wrap arms around, and below the head. Would I have gone for such a risky, big hit at that moment in the match and position on the field? Probably not. But I think it was still technically legal.




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      2. Hendog, what does the law state? Arms have to be used; to stop the likes of Farrell deliberately leading with the shoulder. That’s it. It was also dumb. Refs will now be alerted nxt up. And there’s no such thing as benefit of doubt. That’s just an opinion & isn’t in the law. Stuart Barnes also stated Farrell’s tackle was illegal.




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        1. I’m not sure Barnes’ view is that compelling. I’d go with the three professional referees, who declared it legal. “I believe there’s enough of a wrap on the far side”.

          It’s only controversial because it was right at the end and there was a point’s difference on the scoreboard.




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          1. Of course you would Hendog. You’re presumably English & it suits your subjectivity. If an NZer effects the same tackle nxt Sat, what will yr response be then? No brainier really, innit? You could also ask Staggy.




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            1. I guess we’ll see, Don P but you could at least allow me the benefit of doubt and assume I’m trying to be objective.

              In any case I doubt any All Black would be so crass as to tackle like Owen Farrell.




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            2. Hi Don, I just realised reading through your comments that you are a New Zealander.
              Seriously, no sarcasm. For some reason , I had you down as a Taff!




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          2. Hendog, going with the officials? That’s just confirmation of yr bias. The law is immutable. Farrell illegally led with his shoulder. The officials fudged it. Why do you find it so difficult to acknowledge the truth? Forgot, the answer’s in my 2nd sentence.




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  6. A win is a win -contradicting all my forecasts.South Africa were poor and badly missed Faf.But England hung there showed great desire determination and great spirit and I happily endorse them for that.There is Hope we can give nz a good game.
    Shields rubbish.Jones must play Moon first 60
    Then Hepburn as they do at Chiefs .




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    1. Harlequin, is it because Shields is a New Zealander that you keep rubbishing him? Without giving ANY reasons for stating so, you make a completely subjective comment. Were the England front row too not rubbish, in the 1st 1/2 particularly? They got shunted & gave pens away, but they got no castigation from you. Was Itoje also not rubbish for his yellow, or Fartell for his illegal hit? Seems like fake news to me.




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      1. In fairness Don P, Harlequin does suggest that Hepburn should be replaced by Moon.

        I assume the vitriol against Shields is driven in part by the alternatives available in that position, rather than his nationality. But I would agree that his performance was not nearly as bad as people are making out. I thought the England back row held their own.




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      2. Don, your dislike/prejudice towards Farrell is so obvious that you should really excuse yourself from any discussion involving him.




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        1. Ray, must seem a bit like the dislike/prejudice agin Shields then? Besides, you’re being subjective. I commented on Farrell’s illegal shoulder charge/’tackle’, which is what I actually dislike. I don’t particularly rate Farrell’s fist pump after committing his foul or his shrieking @ the ref in SA either. Perhaps you do find something to like about this behaviour though? Cheers.




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          1. The rugby ‘justice system’ referee, assistant referee, TMO and ‘Citing’ officers all ruled the tackle legal therefore it is. Your opinion right or wrong is frankly irrelevant and increasingly boring surely even you can see that.




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            1. Ray, seem to have got yr goat. My opinion, like anyone’s I suppose, could well be irrelevant, apart to those generous souls whom are kind enough to give me the odd ‘thumbs up’ perhaps? That the officials deemed the ‘tackle’ legit, doesn’t mean that it actually was at all. There more than a few noted observers whom agree that they got it wrong. They, like me may also be boring (I’ll try to improve in future. Honest!), but boring or not, this doesn’t ‘t alter the fact that OF lead with his shoulder (which is illegal under ‘Foul play’ WR rules) & therefore couldn’t & actually didn’t, attempt to ‘grasp’ (as I’ve been alerted) his victim. His subsequent left arm movement (for it was physically impossible to do so with his right 1 as it was too busy engaged with Eiuzthuisen’s (sp?) chest), was clearly, logically as per the laws of physics, a reflex action. Regret if this greater truth bore you, it sometimes bore me when others keep refuting it, but someone has to educate you Chap. All shoulders to the, er, ??? Regrds.




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      3. Re Shields my comment was based on watching him with England in SA and at Wasps.
        Imho an honest hard working Trojan and no more -also rated no 4/5 in nz by Hanson who knows more about it than either of us.Also frequently watched Chiefs and would take Armand or Ewers any day




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        1. Harlequin, each to his own. However, with England’s pack going backwards @ the speed of light for much of the match, they all looked a bunch of hard working Trojans didn’t ‘t they? BTW Shields played for the Canes. Bit hard to gauge him by watching the Chiefs.




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  7. I think if the shoe was on the other foot I would be screaming bloody murder (re Farrell’s tackle). My own, and admittedly biased, opinion says that on viewing the replays it was 50/50 and the referee gave Farrell the benefit of the doubt. I would point out, however, that 3 officials agreed that it was not worthy of a penalty, all capable of escalating the incident for further analysis. We shall just have to see whether it gets taken up post match. The refereeing in general I felt acrually favoured South Africa, a particular incident springing to mind where George Kruis was contesting a maul 5 metres from the SA lines, referee said that he was fine so Kruis continued what he was doing, linesman then said he was coming in at the side and the referee blew up for a penalty. Hartley then quite rightly commented that they are relying on his voice and his voice said that Kruis was legal. The point, I suppose, is not tit for tat, but rather that this is sport and these things happen. The fact is SA had 80 minutes to put England away and didn’t.




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    1. EC, apart from yr comment about the shoe bring on the other foot, you’ve spent vast verbiage trying to justify an illegal tackle. You protest too much methinks. End of.




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  8. Got lucky there! I really just wanted to comment on 2 players, I thought Shields was the worst England player by far and should be dropped for next week. The butchered try aside, for the guys size he can’t carry or tackle and was pretty anonymous in the game. Secondly, thought Daly was poor at fb, he missed far too many high balls and just didn’t seem to be in the right position to catch by a metre or more. Great player but didn’t fill me with confidence at the back.




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  9. Holy crap what a cracking match ( and i dont mean score wise) just on the edge the entire time. Safrica were favorites going in yes just look at the difference in the forwards but also england did really well to hang on and read the errors of their opposition to get out of jail or capitalize and the defence was much much better than during the summer… In my eyes the best forward was Mercer. I was skeptical bout his selection initially but he proved all the naysayers wrong (carried check, won collisions check, good at the ruck check, scrummaged well check, tackled well check) hask was right mercer does punch above his weight.. and shields was good too despite that moment of madness when he tried to channel SBW .. Worried about curry but maybe sam underhill will do well..thing is tom curry would be good with billy V for rwc 2019 and he could do with playing all those 10 matches before to rid himself of all flecks of green. Harry williams added real life to the scrum but with a dynamic front row like nz i think sinckler would be first choice again… Hepburn got a little bullied i thought.. Nice to see hartleys stability back..as for farrells tackle it couldve gone either way yes but it wasnt above the shoulders and esterhuzien bumped right off and fell to the ground in no way was there contact with the head so shouldn have been a match decider.. And yes i would say that even if that happend to an england player.. Hope englands midfield defence is nothing like this next saturday de allende was carving us up … Anyway south africa couldv won the match but the better team on the day (which weathered the storm when they were second best and a man down and then resumed to dominate for large periods of the second half) went on to win
    Nice one boys




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    1. De Allende and co. benefited from lousy tackling (again). The only player who had the nous to go low was Wilson. Iost count of the number of times everyone else went high on a bloke who is about six foot three and sixteen odd stone.
      That’s not taking anything away from de Allende. If only we had a player like that!
      What gets me is the lack of intelligence. I also wonder at the ability of some of the players to actually effect a tackle rather than a “big hit” as the two are quite different as Faz clearly showed!




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  10. Madman, a real mixed & bag from you. You ought to have a yarn with Harlequin & Stu about Shields I think. They both completely contradict yr opinion on him. Perhaps you could correct them. Intetesting comment on Hartley too. Many here want him out! Tell you what though. I bet no England fan would have swapped him for Marx @ the line out today. However, yr view on the Farrell tackle was completely wrong. There was no ‘either way’ about it. It was a straight shoulder tackle, with NO arms involved, which is illegal. Forget the officials, they ignored the tackle rule. Read it. Also, ust believe the evidence of yr own eyes. Perhaps Farrell’ll try it again nxt Saturday v NZ?




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  11. Having now seen the Farrell tackle, it looks to me as though firstly contact was to the chest, just, and secondly the arms were wrapping round (with the benefit of still photos) although only just. Therefore it looks to me as though under the letter of the law it was a correct decision.

    What I would say is that the laws leave the tackle area a very many shades of grey, which is why we are still talking about it. Don’t get me started again on the Cipriani red and citing.

    Would I have called for a penalty if I’d been South African. Of course I would, that’s the beauty of one eyed support for your team. Would agfree that Farrell is on the edge when it comes to these tackling laws and probably needs to adapt his technique, or he is going to get red carded and cited soon whether we as Englishmen (and women) like it or not.

    Having now seen the Itoje incident, he took one for the team. Cynical professional foul, but done to avoid 7 points. NZ have been doing this for decades and normally get applauded for it. He’s still a penalty magnet, almost Haskell like at the moment.

    Front row. EJ knew we’d be up against a monster pack. Very poor selection to not have the best scrummagers on the pitch.




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    1. Staggy, interesting (or perhaps not) that you mention the term ‘1 eyed’. You then attempt to justify an illegal tackle by Farrell (a blind man could see that he led with his shoulder). You further compound yr prejudice, by trying to justify Itoje’s being ‘pinged’ (again) by stating that ‘NZ have been doing this for decades. The latter without any EVIDENCE (like , what, when, where; dates, times, places, or even matches!) whatsoever. Couldn’t make it up could you? Impressive stuff for a bloke with 2 eyes. Presumably you’re suggesting that the IRB/WR have given strict instructions to refs to lay off NZ @ ALL their games on the planet! 1 response to this particular chestnut is to suggest that yr team could play cleaner, less cynical rugby & that YOU chuck yr Red Rose specs away.




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      1. Don, I have to say that recently you seem to have been concentrating more on the rugby and less on the theatrics, resulting in a number of comments that I have not only agreed with but “liked”. Sadly whenever the altar which is NZ rugby is questioned (oh blasphemer that I am) you revert to type.

        I don’t think that I need to explain my thinking on the Farrell tackle again as I have laid it out above. What I have also said in a previous comment is that I don’t think that it was any different from the Kaino hit and he got yellow carded and 5 weeks. Unfortunately that is the pickle that rugby is in over these types of tackles. A slight difference in viewing angles or refs thinking patterns completely changes a game. I don’t think that this is good for the game. I might be wrong but I have a sneaking suspicion that you thought that the Kaino yellow was wrong at the time. If this is the case, and I really can’t be bothered to check back, then surely you must think that Farrell’s tackle was fine as well.

        Re. NZ professionally fouling, once again can’t be bothered to go back through the annuls to give you times and dates as I have a life to lead but I know that if I did there would be plenty of evidence. I have a number of instances tucked away somewhere at the back of my mind. Would I be furious if a team had done that against us – yes I would, but at least I am honest about my double standards!

        Refs and NZ and cynical rugby – I give you exhibit A – Kevin Mealamu and Tana Umaga and an Irishman. No further evidence needed mi’lud.




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        1. Staggy, whether England worry other teams depends a bit on whether they are @ home or won’t doesn’t it? Although I agree that they can be hard to beat, especially @ home, as yesterday indicated.




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          1. I think that you will find that we have been quite hard to beat in Argentina, Australia and even South Africa. NZ, Dublin and even the Millenium Stadium remain places that we struggle at though.




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        2. Staggy, well it’s a rugby site, so I do try to concentrate on rugby, but I sometimes enjoy theatrics too. Especially when defending NZ against scurrilous attacks! However, I am also pleased that you ‘liked’ some of my other comments. I wondered where those ‘thumbs ups’ were coming from. Regards Farrell? I think he has a thuggish mentality. It comes to the surface now & again, though less so than in his early days. Regards Kaino, I’ve already explained @ length the difference between his & OF’s tackles. And no, I don’t think Kaino’s warrented 5 weeks (nor Cipriani @ all BTW; incidental?). Regards the BOD shot? Well, Mealamu & Umaga were actually exonerated. Like Farrell. To the best of my knowledge, M & U, for the rest of their careers, continued to be goodie 2 shoeses. Here’s to next Saturday.




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          1. OK I’ll waive the white flag for a truce! I do agree that Farrell is a bit thug like, and as I’ve already stated, he’s going to get a red card soon unless he sorts out his tackling. I also think that Kaino fits the same mould for his thug like tackling. We’ll disagree on the BoD “tackle”. Next Saturday. I will be approaching it with trepidation and probably no hope whatsoever. Based on this last weekends matches I expect NZ to be beating us by 20 to 30 points. Can’t see it being close myself.




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            1. Staggy, me too. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions & I know it’s hard to pull out facts to substantiate views. I just think that there should be something to back these up, that’s all, for the sake of some cred? Having stated that, I have been accused of being picky (discerning I thought?) before now, believe it or not! I’ve had the BOD thing brought up more than a few. Won’t go into discussion on it now, as it reopens cans of worms. Wouldn’t nec think it’ll be an NZ cake walk on Sat. England are usually hard to beat @ home. You never know what can happen on a given day/match. Regds.




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  12. I can’t believe England won that one. Very very lucky. I thought SA on the whole were excellent. If their hooker had turned up they would have won comfortably imo. England were such a mixed bag. Johnny May and Wilson were excellent. The pack were better than expected. Not sure on Shields. He wasn’t bad but didn’t offer much. Ashton and our centres were anonymous and Daly was terrible. The Farrell incident in my mind was at least a penalty, possibly a yellow. Not red because no head contact.




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  13. England showed commendable resilience to keep in the game and then come through to win it.
    Sometimes it really is all about the result and a win against the odds is not to be sniffed at.
    Performance will hopefully come – it will have to next week against NZ – as there were areas that werent up to scratch, while some individual efforts left something to be desired.
    On the plus side I thought Wilson was easily our best player, both wings did well, Kruis was solid enough and Mercer made a good showing of the bench.




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  14. Brutal game marred by bad calls wheeled scrum got it wrong Farrell’s hit got it wrong. England isn’t going to worry many opponents particularly if you can’t score tries. This victory was in line with a number of undeserved victories in their winning streak that shows more luck than skill. I expect that EJ will get a pass again but I don’t think that England are going right. I am non partisan being neither English or South African.




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    1. Peter, judging by your comments, I’m not entirely convinced that you are non partisan about England. Having said that, and I think that this is acknowledged by most English supporters, England were exceptionally lucky yesterday. I don’t think that we deserved to win personally, but we did.

      However to say that England won’t worry many opponents is simply hyperbole. Are we playing at a level where we will beat NZ or Ireland – not in my opinion but any other international team is going to be worried about playing England. Not functioning well particularly in attack as you’ve said, but hard to beat nonetheless.




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      1. Staggy, Fair comments. I think to be more accurate I should have said that their somewhat anemic attack would give confidence to their opponents and by that I mean the other countries in the top ten. As far as being non partisan I am Canadian and so don’t have traditional ties to either England or SA.
        I do think that England have gotten the rub of the green on a fair few occassions and with that said I think they can be beaten by a number of countries. How they go from now until the RWC is yet to be determined but I won’t be surprised if they don’t get past the quarter finals.




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        1. I think that we do agree on this, although to a certain extent you make your own luck as can be demonstrated by NZ. Over to you Don…..




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