Rate the Match: South Africa v England 2nd Test

Tendai Mtawarira

The Beast Rugby

Tell us what you thought of today’s 2nd Test between South Africa and England.

Who played well? What were the main talking points?

Give the match a rating out of 10 and share your opinions in the comments below.

Rate the Match: South Africa v England

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62 thoughts on “Rate the Match: South Africa v England 2nd Test

    1. Very poor. There is a real lack of leadership, poor discipline and lack of creativity. Bit of a humiliation really!

      1. It was all down to the lack of climatisation for the England team
        Spending you preparation time in Umshlanga Rocks on the Natal Coast is a lovely place to be but
        completely the opposite of where
        you should be doing yourpreparation for two matches
        at altidude.
        It is not a holiday.
        Eddie guilty of a gross error of judgement.
        SA were allowed to look a lot better than they are.
        Blokes like Vermeurlen who is an old war horse seeing out his career at Toulon was made to look a lot a better than he has looked
        at Toulon
        I am convinced that England will look a lot better side at Newlands

    2. I agree, Eddie OUT ASAP
      It’s now becoming an embarrassment.
      England need a team with more than One point scorer, the narrow minded Eddie Jones just does not work.
      I am not paying to watch them again. I would rather watch Wales or Ireland for some decent Rugby.

    3. Let us wait for when England are back at sea level at Newlands on Saturday.
      I am sure that England will be able to hold their own on a level playing.
      If England play and possibly even win, we will know that it was the altitude inJohannesburg and Bloemfontein that caused the problem.

      1. What’s just as likely is that a 3rd test win for England is put down to SA taking their foot off the pedal having won the series. It’s going to be difficult now to draw any conclusions from an England win, should that happen.

        1. Why should SA take their foot off the pedal?
          They are an extremely competitive nation and will probably strive for a white wash.

          1. They probably won’t ease off, but if England win having lost the first two some will say it was due to altitude, some will say it was SA not having the same desire etc. It’s bound to happen true or not, and no one could be sure either way so drawing conclusions will be difficult.

    4. Having played rugby in Johannesburg without spending any time to climatise yourself to the altidude, I know how lung bursting it can be.

    1. Blind stupidity of EJ in taking the the team down to thecoast twice!!
      with no acclimatisation to altitude.
      Of course Englland flourished in the first. 20 minutes and then fizzled out.
      EJ should realised what was happening in Johannesburg but blindly took the team back down to sea level

  1. Hugely, hugely disappointing really don’t know were England go from here how many more times can we blame the coach, we’re just average team that’s all there is to it.

    1. It seems that way Alex. We lack genuine leaders who can instill calmness and game intelligence into each other. We have some genuine talent among the current crop but as I said in an earlier post, compared to the class of ’03, they are like schoolboys not seasoned professionals.

  2. All as predicted.We will Lose next 4 out of 5.Boks twice NZ and Oz.Then Wales and Ireland away.
    Feel it is highly likely Jones lost the dressing room months ago and players see playing for England as something they have to endure.I trust at the very least RFU CEO hauls Eddie over the coals in the near future

  3. During the 6 nations I felt very strongly that the players were just going through the motions and that Eddie was losing the dressing room.
    The team is full of class players who were lions stars and there is no way we should be looking so toothless and poor.

  4. So, if the consensus says it’s time for a new head coach who would people like to see in the role?

    1. Jim Mallinder’s just got himself a parking space at the RFU, could let him have a go. I’d take almost anybody at this point.

    1. Sure, but top international teams do not lose when they get into such commanding positions so early. England did not score a single point after the 13th minute – a stat that is draw-droppingly awful
      Great to see the Boks looking dangerous again though. They’ve always been tough to beat at home – even when the team seemed in all sorts of problems, they beat the Irish in a series 2-1, beat Arg twice, drew twice with Aus and came within a point of the ABs – but they seem to be playing with even greater desire, spirit and cohesiveness.
      They’ll be a handful in the Rugby Championship so long as they can fix some of the holes in their defence.

  5. Obviously I would acknowledge the performane of the ‘Boks in both games. Pollard was excellent and today Vermeulen was on another planet. England could’nt live with the intensity of the SA forwards and all credit to Erasmus for picking them up ,turning them around and coming from behind in both tests. Congratulations to “BEAST” on his landmark appearance. It’s just that we England fans genuinely thought EJ had started to make us into a side capable of taking on and beating all comers. Sadly for us, that is becoming little more than a fading dream.

  6. Well played The Boks – again. De Klerk, Vermulen, Sneyman and Kolisi all excellent. That said Its amazing how things don’t go your way when you are not playing well. For Vermulans try, Beast picked up the ball in an offside position. Also Shields disallowed try could have been a penalty try for having the ball slapped out of his hands. Anyway for those slating our backs I think they have looked pretty good over the two tests – particularly Farrel and May who have been world class. They are being let down by a pretty poor forward pack who not content with just playing poorly and making lots of mistakes are also doing some really stupid things. Vunipola and Hughes are idiots and should be dropped completely from the 23. We do not have a world class number 8 or 9. Maybe we should try unearthing a few more kiwis with English parents/grandparents. Youngs in particular was awful today. If you want to know what a world class 9 looks like look at De Klerk. Youngs wasn’t even worthy of being on the same pitch. In general Eddies selection has been poor. Playing Daly at fullback is a nice idea as a long term project but pointless if he is never going to play there for his club. Shake it up next week and start: Marler, Cowan Dickie, Williams, Hill, Itoje, Shields, Currie, Simmonds, Robson, Cipriani, Solomona, Faz, Daly, May, Brown

    1. Itoje has done sod all on this test bar regress as an international player. I’m starting to think a spell on the sidelines might do him some good. He’s had nothing but praise since his first call up and needs a reality check.

      1. He took some flak during the 6N but then looked much better for Sarries for the last few weeks of the season. Then back to England and 6N form.

        Funny, that.

        1. Your’e not suggesting Eddie is the cause of the problem? Heavens above! No ,seriously I did say
          regressed as an international player. I’m with you,something about the England camp, set up, coaching staff etc is just not working.
          In midweek they released a statement saying the senior players had been trying to exert some influence on things a la ’07. Clearly that didn’t work. Cohesion is fading fast ,as is team spirit. Maro is a superb young player. It’s the environment that is the root problem.

          1. It seems to me that recently Itoje has tried to take too much on when he plays for England, rather than concentrating on what hes good at – line out work and being disruptive at the maul and breakdown.
            I don’t think it’s any coincidence that he always seems to play better with Kruis alongside him. Kruis is a classic, solid lock and I think that he provides Itoje with the support necessary for Itoje just to play his own game rather than try to do everything.
            Let’s remember that in the first test here, Itoje played alongside an international newbie to start with only to have him replaced by a flanker playing lock!
            Bring back Kruis or get the likes of Attwood or Slater into the tea and I think we’ll see him back to his best

            1. Pablito, agree with that about Kruis. What’s he done wrong? That is what Itoje needs next to him, old-fashioned tough guy/enforcer.

              1. Is not Launchbury in that category? All week people saying good to see Launchbury back to partner Itoje but one could argue it ended up worse!

                1. Don’t think he was fully fit. And even when he is, he’s not a similar lock to the likes of Kruis or Attwood. He’s more in the Itoje style
                  Taliesin – Kruis lost his form badly after being dropped by Gatland in the Lions tour. But he seems back to his best or close to it for Sarries.
                  He and Itoje were a great partnership. Would love to see them playing together again

              2. England seem to have a phobia about big ,meaty locks with a bit of what Johnno called “dog” about them. I agree Pablito, we need a couple of biff merchants such as Attwood and Barrow.

          2. Disappointing game but worse is the arrogant players in defeat AGAIN, Mike Brown’s interview after the Wales loss, Ben Young yesterday and the Marler/Brown incident.

          3. I saw that about the ‘senior players’ getting a grip. The problem with England is; who ARE these ‘senior players’? Back in 2007 it was Lawrence D – no-one like that around at present.

  7. i predicted this ongoing disaster back when English clubs were being knocked out of the European championship .It was clear to me then that too many English players are simply not good enough to play at the very highest level.I blame the clubs for poor coaching

  8. Sarries and Exeter are at the top because of their culture.A tightly knitted band of brothers with a strong sense of unity and purpose.Ditto NZ.These factors are totally missing in the England camp and are foreign to the Jones’ concept of leadership.Like any organisation you will only get the best results by everyone pulling enthusiastically in the same direction

    1. Whereas the micro management style favoured by the likes of EJ seems to curry the opposite atmosphere. The reaction by Youngs screams frustration ,not just at losing the game but with the way he’s being asked to play. Harder to tell with Marler and Brown as they are both capable of starting a fight in an empty house!

    2. Agree Harlequin, you only have to look at the on-field camaraderie and body language at Sarries and Exeter to know that they are all absolutely playing for each other, even in yesterday’s anthems it didn’t look that way for England, I immediately said we are going to lose this game. I hated being a smart-a***e but even at the end they were walking around as individuals sorry for themselves rather than seeking solace as a team.

  9. Absolutely awful, I sat watching this game thinking how amateur we looked compared to the Boks. All the talk of leadership and discipline before the game made it even more frustrating to see Vunipola and Hughes doing it again – why is Mako so different in a club shirt to an England one? The only bright side to this performance was May and Cips cameo; thought he looked excellent when he came on and must start the last test. I really think EJ needs to go as England look badly in need of new direction and impetus ahead of RWC.

  10. Also wanted to add, if I see a story come out from the England camp this week saying we have had another meeting about discipline I will sell my England shirt at the car boot!! Too much talk , not enough action!!

  11. Amateur is a good description of some of our play. We do look incredibly naive at times, giving away easy meters, cheap penalties and regularly gifting possession.
    Its plainly more than a personnel issue, as all the players seem incapable of serving up an error free, consistently effective performance. Despite what we are seeing, this team does have a number of very good, proven international players who are simply not firing.
    When a team consistently fails, repeating serial errors and often compounding them, you need to look at those running the show.
    What may have been a blip in the 6N’s has now developed into a crisis with the team showing little sign of coming out of their trough.
    This looks a team badly out sorts, lacking leadership, resilience, common sense and simple rugby smarts.
    Jones will get the Autumn to turn things around. Right now, that looks a tall order.

  12. It may seem petulant reaction but I have decided not continue subscribing to BT sports (or Sky for that matter)until the clubs perform much better on the European stage because for me that shows a truer reflection of the players talents than the domestic league

    1. I can’t wait for Prem rugby to kick off again, so much less angst than watching England. My BT subscription’s in no danger.

  13. Apparently poor Billy has refractured his arm! Should they have played him at all? Mako has returned home for family reasons and genge for injury. Hepburn arrives today.
    Eddie said yesterday he was missing 25 players!!! What 25? South Africa were without Marx, Etzebeth and de Jooger!

    1. Billy seems increasingly fragile,which is a huge concern. How many injuries is that in the last year?
      He needs a rest.

  14. Been struggling to know what to say after that game. Have started posts three times and staopped them.

    Regarding the game, I think that we struggled to get front foot ball over the gainline and this comes back to either players receiving the ball standing still which has been a pet hate of mine regarding England playing style for a very long time (not just EJ), and also trying to use the wrong players in crash ball ie Slade. I really do think that EJ doesn’t really have a plan B if Billy V isn’t providing that go forward. When Billy was actually in the game (for 20 minutes) and we got quick ball we do have some quality backs to make use of it. If we don’t have that, then we haven’t got the ability to break down teams other ways, which must ultimately be an EJ problem.

    So what have we learnt. Our squad isn’t as good as we think it is. EJ isn’t as good a manager as he thinks he is. English players are unable to think on their feet and make intelligent decisions.

    I can’t comment on whether EJ has lost the dressing room as I don’t know but there seems to be a great deal of smoke at the moment – differing opinions on altitude, Gustard, B Youngs interview, players underperforming, etc. If this is the case then regrettably EJ has to go as it isn’t going to get better. If not then it’s time for him to earn his massive salary and adapt his coaching style and turn it around. However not convinced that EJ is for turning!

  15. Eddie won’t walk! He has already said he is 100% confident of turning things around in the Autumn to Chris jones of the bbc who he attacked for asking aggressive questions!
    Meanwhile the rfu have said he has their full support blah blah blah..
    Think maybe it’s time for a peasant’s revolt against the rfu!!

  16. I would personally have a lot more respect for Eddie if he was capable of admitting fault and resigning. But he is the kind of person who always thinks he knows best regardless of how much he screws something up.

  17. I’ll go on record on here, stick my neck out and be the first to say keep EJ! (No hate mail please)
    Whilst the results are not good (5 losses in a row and probably a sixth to come) i’m not aware that rugby has yet arrived at the football destination of an immediate sacking when the results go wrong.
    Has any RFU done that…
    A. Within 2 yrs of a national coach’s tenureship
    B. After 18 straight wins?
    Even the dire coetzee of SA infamy had 2 yrs in the job. He also didn’t get 18 wins in total or on the trot as far as i’m aware.
    The whole ‘sack him’ thing is a very modern affair!
    I’d certainly be happy to give EJ the autumn internationals to turn it around in. Call it common decency, loyalty, a reluctance to over-react, old-fashioned values or any other adjective you’d care to mention – in my book EJ has untl and including the AI’s.
    I’d re-think if he lost those badly!

    1. Exactly! Reading through the comments until I got to yours, I felt like I’d wandered onto a football blog.

  18. Crazy sense of entitlement running through the comments here. May I remind you all that England have not won a test match in South Africa since June 2000…
    So this notion that we can just turn up and expect to win, not only that but if we don’t win then the coach must be summarily dismissed, is quite misguided.

    1. That’s not the case though, is it? Nobody is saying EJ should go because we lost two games in SA. It’s a culmination of a series of poor performances on top of the circus act that he continues to run around himself.

      For what it’s worth my first comment on here suggested Eddie should go in jest, because a sacking culture would be bad news for rugby. I think he should be given the chance to turn it around despite having very strong doubts that he can.

    2. I don’t think he should be sacked yet but I do think he needs a stiff talking to from the RFU that his contract isn’t as secure as he thinks it is.

      And your comment on SA is a bit misleading, yes we haven’t won there since 2000 but what you haven’t said is this particular SA team had won 2 of their last 9 games, are missing their 2 best players, have a brand new management team. They have been woefully under performing for the last few years so should we have expected to win, yes we should. These results just highlight the depths to which England have slipped. I can’t see us beating any home nations if this continues, let alone our upcoming autumn games.

      1. Robbie
        Those are all ‘mitigating circumstances’.
        You could say Eddie, if we are to go down that route, has plenty too.
        E.g. 25 x players either rested or injured (see Daily Mail of yesterday)
        To cut to the chase this is the first real test/challenge EJ has faced. My question is: Is it the same people calling for his head who during a joint record-winning run praised and applauded his every move? I supported him then so it stands to reason i support him now!
        All too easy in this instant, touch of a button, like/dislike, info-age to say “don’t like the look of this anymore – i’m out!”
        Well f**k that – i’m still in!”

  19. Eddie has the full backing of the suits according to the BBC.
    I agree wit other on here. No improvement in performance or results after the autumn then surely he has to go?

  20. I notice that no-one has mentioned the Lions factor? For me there are still too many players in this squad who haven’t had a proper rest since before the end of the 2016/2017 season.
    I know it would have meant having a much less experienced team but we should have given more new caps and blooded more players on this tour.
    Why bother taking so many new players and then not playing them at all? Give them all a start for the third test and bugger the consequences. If Billy is injured fly Mercer over and stick him on the bench.

    Hepburn, LCD, Williams, Hill, Isiekwe, Wilson, Curry, Simmonds, Robson, Cips, May, Farrell, Lozowski, Solomona, Earle.

    Marler, Singleton, Sinckler, Launchbury, Mercer, Spencer, Ford, Daly.

    It may end up as a totally one sided game but, something tells me that if these guys were given a chance they would grab it by the balls and not let go. We’ve got nothing to lose except another test!!

    1. Give the inexperienced guys a big chance – it’s what Gatland did in Argentina (admittedly against less strong opponents) and it worked well. I think England’s ‘second-string’ players could have sprung a surprise, especially with Boks bringing in less experienced/less good players. But it hasn’t happened.


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