Post Match Reaction: South Africa 22 England 17

A brutally physical encounter saw South Africa triumph thanks to tries from Jean de Villiers and Morné Steyn. England grabbed a late consolation through Ben Foden but ultimately it was not enough, although they will take confidence going into the 2nd Test.

What did you make of the game?

20 thoughts on “Post Match Reaction: South Africa 22 England 17

  1. Overall i was quite impressed with England but i thought we looked much better with Dickson on at the end. Thought we should have brought him on earlier to get the quick ball going. Impressed with Brown as well. I think we could have done with seeing a bit more of JJ as well.

    1. Agreed. It’s all well for a scrum half to have pace and be looking for gaps the whole time but if he doesn’t do the job’s basics well then there’s no point in playing him. As far as I’m concerned there are a number of jobs that a scrum half should be able to do – recycle the ball (whether quickly or slowly, depending on the situation), pass, box kick, make decisions under pressure and sweep defence. Youngs passes like an amateur, either above the receiver’s head or to his feet. His box kicking was awful yesterday, as was his decision making. Baffled by his selection, when Care is a much better ‘nippy’ scrum half and Dickson does the basics the best of all three.

  2. England need to work out whether Farrell has the skill set to develop into a fly half that can attack the gain line and put teams under pressure without just using his boot. Although a great kicker, I thought we looked better when Flood came on.

    Youngs kicked too much, and im not entirely sure what Englands game plan was.

    Robshaw and Johnson were immense

  3. Missed opportunity. Thought SL was too slow to make changes when it was clear that some players were dying on their feet. Should have brought in JJ when Barritt went off and Youngs needed replacing earlier. PDJ was very disappointing as was our scrum in general, the early engages in the first half was clueless.

    Still we didn’t capitulate but it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the series. Robshaw I thought was immense. I still find it shocking it has taken him so long to get his opportunity.

  4. England gave the best performance today out of the SH teams, unfortunately they cannot rely upon kicks to win games, not sure where they will score trys when needed and in the intensity of the game. A poor day for NH rugby after the hype before the tour, hope next week will bring better fortune for the NH teams.

  5. Farrell needs to go away and develop. His decision making was awful and once again his non existing pace was exposed. SA were able to put some monster hits in thanks to the pace we played at during certain points of the game. Too many players with too little caps making mistakes under pressure. Why wasn’t care selected for the first test? Or flood for that matter.
    Only positive I can really see from that woeful performance was how immense and relentless our back row was. Johnson, robshaw and Morgan all have some serious engines and like to get stuck in.
    Really really annoyed that we didn’t seize this opportunity. SL needs to look at how England attack. With Farrell never seeming to know what type of pass to throw he needs to have the pressure taken off him. Was awful watching him bullet pass to players a yard outside him then try to float a pass ten metres straight after. Frustrating stuff.

  6. Plus points
    – Johnson and Robshaw huge, lineout still went well without a Wood or Croft and I really like the higher workrate that Johnson brings and with some skill also.
    – Breakdown in general was a real plus, for SA to only be 90% on ruck retention is excellent.
    – Brown, mostly excellent, though maybe could have done more for the try.
    – We went for the full 80 and finished strong even after taking a pounding for a large part of game. I hope we can carry this on in the thinner atmosphere.
    – Commitment by the bucket load again.

    Negatives
    – Shame we seemed to think the new “crouch, touch, engage” scrum process was already in place. We were second best (but not badly beaten) at the legal scrums. Maybe start Corbs for a bit more ballast if fit and Marler bench for impact?
    – We did make some line breaks (more than SA) but not much in the way of support running.
    – Morgan clearly not match fit, nothing like his performances in 6N, maybe start Haskell next week and Morgan on bench for impact?
    – SA forwards ran onto the ball at pace and therefore kept breaking the gain line, we didn’t and therefore we kept getting stopped at it.
    – Crap tactical kicking from 9 and 10, interspersed with the odd nice chip. Though maybe the kicking was just made to look extra bad by the poor chase.
    – Limited evidence of any progress of attacking game. I think we have to start with Flood next week, he may not be quite as good a tackler as Farrell and may be a few percentage points lower as a kicker but he is still very good at tackling and goal kicking. I don’t see we are going to make too much progress without a FH that can run, pass and kick. I think we must find a way of forging something around Tuilagi’s power (doubt De Villiers has been given that rag doll treatment before) and JJs pace and step.

    Be fascinating to see what Lancater does next … more of the same likely to result in 2 more honourable defeats, hopefully we will see he has got some more tricks to play.

  7. I was at the match; farce actually, as I left short of the hour…here’s why: Steve Walsh is s**t. Apparently he hates England more than he does the Boks.

    don’t mind us losing to a better team, but today – 1st half, which is where the momentum lay, we were blatantly robbed of contesting. The twat just ruined the entire tour.

    1. Enough of the Steve Walsh bashing, it gets boring. Am I the only Englishman who doesn’t think he’s against us? I’m sure Springbok fans could also complain about all missed misdemeanours from the English, naughty tackles, knockons etc.

      End of the day, we lost to a better, more powerful side and couldn’t come up with the game plan to get past them. The first half was brilliant and in all honesty, left me full of hope for a win, but it clearly was to be. We’ve got some great talent in the squad, but this was always going to be a baptism of fire, and it proved to be that way.

  8. Not a good day for NH teams, Ireland totally outclassed, Wales beaten by a determined Wallabies outfit and England didn’t really have the game plan to beat the Boks.
    Not sure Farrell’s up to ithe fly half role and there was too much ball kicked away. On the bright side I think they will improve.

  9. Looks like we need to front up a bit – I like the idea of Corbs coming back in with Marler dropping to the bench. I’d also like to see Dickson, Flood and Allen brought in to the 9 / 10 / 12 channel – get some decent creativity and distribution in there so we can actually use the strike power we have out wide! Partnering JJ with Tuilagi in the centers would be exciting, but still a bit raw as a starting combination at this level.

  10. If Barritt is not fit, we should throw caution to the wind and play Tuiliagi and JJ together. Keep Farrell at 10 but start with Dickson, then bring Youngs and Flood on earlier in second half. Wade on the bench as impact player. JJ is very quick and will be great running on to Farrell’s chips and grubbers. Steyn and De Villiers are difficult to break through but if you can get the ball behind them, and put pressure on the back three we could open them up a little.

  11. Some real plus points, I wasn’t expecting England to win this they are too inexperienced but that is not a selection moan, they can only gain experience form these types of games.

    The forwards are forging well and with a few changes we could have a really good pack.

    team spirit was excellent too.

    Attack is still the main issue, neither Youngs, Farrel, Barrit or Tuilagi would say that passing is their biggest strength and that doesn’t give the attack much chance.
    Flood must be brought in, he has weaknesses but he can pass a ball, a talent that is rare at the moment.

    I like Barrit and Tuilagi but they are not working together, I would bring Allen in for Barrit or Joseph in for Tuilagi, depending on what kind of game we want to play.

    The back three still look good with the few ops they get.

  12. Personally, my team to play test no.2. Really rate Morgan and Marler, but think they would be more benefical as impact subs when playing at altitude (bring on in last 25 mins to punch holes in hopefully a more tired SA team). Same with Farrell, think he is very good, but our midfield is not being used, mainly because of the non-existent passing game, so Flood would get the nod for me. And Barritt is left out due to injury, nothing else. Thoughts?

    England Team – Test Team
    1. Corbisiero
    2. Hartley
    3. Cole
    4. Botha
    5. Parling
    6. Johnson
    7. Robshaw
    8. Haskell
    9. Care
    10. Flood
    11. Foden
    12. Tuilagi
    13. Joseph
    14. Ashton
    15. Brown

    16. Mears
    17. Marler
    18. Robson or Palmer
    19. Morgan
    20. Dickson
    21. Farrell
    22. Allen or Turner-Hall

    1. Tommy completely agree with your selection but unfortunately Brown has flown back to the UK with a thumb injury. Seeing how physical they are think it would be suicide to start Wade so you’d either have to start Monye or move Manu to the wing and start Allen

      Spirited performance but the second test is now hugely important from a performance and selection point of view. Lancaster HAS to make changes other than the Brown/Barritt enforced one’s. We got completely outmuscled and I don’t think we have the players to compete with them in an armwrestle so we need to get more creative.

      The game reminded me of school rugby where if you had a really big bloke you just shipped the ball to him every time. This was so predictable and easy to read I think that we need to move Manu to 12 let him draw two guys and then pass (if he can?) to Joseph to slip through the gap.

      Robshaw is rapidly catching up with Warbs, Popcock et al he had an awesome game and think that actually MJ ignorance in not selecting him before was a blessing in disguise as he was allowed more time to develop. Morgan is not match fit that said I’m a little worried about starting Hask at 8 as previous experiments have exposed his lack of skill would be tempted to put in Waldrom in stead?

      If we make the right selection I think we stand a chance. Think that the Bokke are feeling a bit too confident with the win and the altitude and we could catch them resting on their laurels. What ever happens its like the 6 nations as long as there is progress and we keep them honest I’ll be happy.

    2. Completely agree with the team and Ben’s comments. Robshaw could scrum at 8 for offensive scrums as this is where Haskell’s control has let him down before. But I think Haskell brings a higher work rate than a half fit Morgan plus Highlanders have been playing a high tempo game based on continuity, fast rucks and offloads that we would benefit from learning to emulate.

      With Brown out I think I would probably give the nod to Monye with Allen on bench if centre pairing not working out.

      Like Ben I’m not going to be too disheartened if we don’t get a test win, provided we see some progress in our game. If we just defend ourselves to 2 more honourable defeats then I would be worried about our trajectory.

  13. I like Morgan, I would stick with him, but I do believe the bench will have to be used sooner in Jobo.

    Everybody is talking of the backs and there are problems but if we are to be honest th forwards were out played and the backs never got a good platform, if Foden is to play on the wing I would still like to see him come into the libe more bit as Brown is injured, it looks like he will go back to 15. Barrit being out does force a change in the backs, the safe bet is playing turner-hall and Manu but I think the most exciting is playing JJ.

    Farrel needs a breaska nd time to develop we need a passer in the line and somebody who can take it to the gainline and make the pass. Flood has to be in.

    My team.

    1 – Corbiseiro
    2 – Hartley
    3 – Cole
    4 – Botha
    5 – Parling
    6 – Johnson
    7 – Robshaw
    8 – Morgan

    9 – Dickson
    10 – Flood
    11 – Ashton
    12 – Tuilagi
    13 – Joseph
    14 – Monye
    15 – Foden

    Haskell
    Palmer
    Marler
    Youngs
    Mears
    Farrel
    Allen

    The bench needs to be coming on at th 50-60 mark

  14. Pretty much agree with Ronnie selection other than s/h. Having watched Care v Youngs in the Premiership final it just has to be Care in spite of the history he carries. I would also be tempted to stick with Marler who coped well for a first cap

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