Rugby Union

Owen Farrell kicks England to sensational victory over South Africa

England pulled off a sensational, against-all-odds win at Twickenham today.

Blighted by injury, outmuscled in the set-piece and unable to get out of their own 22 for long periods, Eddie Jones’ team looked to be heading for a sixth defeat in seven Tests.

But South Africa failed to take all but one of their chances and lived to regret it as England found a second wind after the break and kicked their way to victory.

You wouldn’t have given them a snowball’s chance in hell when they conceded five penalties in the first 15 minutes and lost serial offender Maro Itoje to the sin bin.

But South Africa butchered two golden lineout chances to drive it over and although Sbu Nkosi did cross the whitewash it was nothing like enough to kill off England.

Instead the home side regrouped, thanked their lucky stars they were still alive in the contest, and took the game to the tourists.

Suddenly they were making inroads into Bok territory and when Elliot Daly kicked them in front on 51 minutes their belief soared.

Handre Pollard restored the visitors lead from the spot but England would be denied. Exeter prop Harry Williams came off the bench to win a key scrum penalty 10 minutes from time and Farrell stepped up to kick it.

Still the Springboks could have prevailed but Pollard missed a penalty in front of the sticks three minutes from time.

And then, with the clock in the red, Farrell appeared to have given Pollard the chance of redemption with a questionable hit on Andre Esterhuizen.

It looked for all the world a penalty but referee Angus Gardener gave England the benefit of the doubt and they escaped to victory.

England 12

Penalties: Farrell x3, Daly x1

South Africa 11

Tries: Nkosi

Penalties: Pollard x2

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