- Danny Care scores expertly taken first-half try in Port Elizabeth
- But JP Pietersen try grabs draw in final Test
South Africa 14 England 14
Scrum half Danny Care scored an excellent first-half try as England produced their most complete performance of the series to draw 14-14 with South Africa in Port Elizabeth.
Stuart Lancaster’s side were excellent in defence, with the only lapse JP Pietersen’s second -half score, as first Test starter Thomas Waldrom and returning flanker James Haskell excelled with strong carries and big hits.
Returning lock Tom Palmer made the field position for Care’s try with an expert charge-down and re-gather in the 22 and despite initially choosing to run the wrong way, when the penalty came, the Harlequins No.9 took a quick tap and crashed through two defenders to score.
That put the visitors into an 8-3 lead after 11 mins, but South Africa started to get some territory and soon a pair of penalties from Morne Steyn established a 9-8 lead at half time, with the Springboks clinically accumulating points when in England’s 22.
Photo: Getty Images
After a cagey start to the second half, a huge Chris Ashton hit on 45 mins ignited the points scoring. Owen Farrell, who replaced injured Toby Flood in the first half, hoisted a hanging kick which allowed Ashton to charge into Boks full back Gio Aplon and execute a massive hit on the diminutive No.15. Farrell slotted the resulting penalty to re-establish England’s lead.
But after England captain Dylan Hartley had just returned from a spell in the sin bin, Pietersen grabbed his second try of the series in the right hand corner. Last ditch defending repelled a series of powerful Springbok drives but with England badly outnumbered, Tom Johnson rushed out of line and missed, leaving the Sharks wing trot over.
Steyn missed the conversion and with England finishing strongly, as series of strong phases gave Farrell the chance to tie the scores a 14-14 with just eight minutes to play.
After an excellent turnover with the hosts going for the win, England ran 20 phases in South Africa’s 22 but after the hooter sounded, Farrell miscued the chance to secure a memorable victory.
South Africa vs England Teams
South Africa: G Aplon; J P Pietersen, J de Villiers (capt), W Olivier, B Habana; M Steyn, F Hougaard; T Mtawarira, B du Plessis, J du Plessis, E Etzebeth, J Kruger, M Coetzee, J Potgieter, P Spies.
Replacements: A Strauss (for B du Plessis, 62), W Kruger (for J du Plessis, 75), F van der Merwe, R Kankowski, R Pienaar (for Hougaard, 50), B Basson, E Jantjies.
England: A Goode; C Ashton, J Joseph, M Tuilagi, B Foden; T Flood, D Care; J Marler, D Hartley (capt), D Cole, T Palmer, G Parling, T Johnson, J Haskell, T Waldrom.
Replacements: L Mears (for Hartley 51-61), P Doran Jones, M Botha (for Palmer 65), P Dowson (for Johnson, 65), L Dickson, O Farrell (for Flood, 27), B Barritt (for Joseph, 65).
Referee: Steve Walsh (ARU)