Springboks defeat the Roses at Emirates Airline Park

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Springbok Rugby
Debutant Aphiwe Dyantyi celebrates after scoring for South Africa against England in Johannesburg. Photo Credit: SA Rugby

A mighty Test Match saw the Springboks beating the Roses on Saturday. With Tests taking place on almost every continent, rugby fans were in no short supply for entertainment over the weekend. The match-up between South Africa and England was definitely up there as one of the most exciting games.

Springboks beat Roses – take early lead in Series

The rivalry between the two nations is the stuff of legend. With everything on the line for the two coaches, winning at the spiritual home ground of South African rugby was key. Rassie Erasmus, the new Springbok coach, was allowed free reign on selections as SARU waived the minimum Test-cap rule. This gave Erasmus the ability to start three overseas players for his first home test of the season.

The English took a commanding lead early in the game. They scored three quick tries before the twenty minute mark, using the width of the field expertly. In what became a high scoring match, the Springboks finally hit back with one their ‘foreigners‘, Faf de Klerk. The Sale Sharks halfback dived over after a break from Sbu Nkosi that got them close to the English line. De Klerk, who also took home the Man Of The Match award, admitted in the week leading up to the game that his box kicks was an area where he’d improved during his time at the English Premiership Club. This he proved on the night.

Springbok Rugby
Faf de Klerk in action during his Man of the Match performance in the first Test between South Africa and England. Photo Credit: SA Rugby

Springboks fight back valiantly

A remarkably cheerful Eddie Jones, the England coach, said after the match he thought it was a wonderful game of rugby, but maybe his team got seduced by the loose game, which gave the South Africans a chance to get back on top. The Springboks clawed their way back off of some bad discipline from the Roses. They eventually conceded twice as many penalties during the game compared to the Springboks. The English also had most of the possession at the start of the match, but saw very little ball during the second half.

New Era Under Siya Captaincy

Syia Kolisi, the new Springbok captain said after the game “We decided to take control of the game and play at the pace we wanted to play, and that’s how we changed the game.” In an emotional run up to the match, South Africans rallied behind the new captain and it seemed to help on the pitch.

“The character the guys showed was really amazing” he said about their valiant comeback.

The new captain’s record is now 1 from 1, but there are two games left in this series. The Springboks will face the Roses next week in Bloemfontein. Then head to Cape Town for the 3rd and final Test. Eddie Jones will be eager to get a victory in the next game, while Erasmus will hope that the Springboks win the series early.

Springbok Rugby
Siya Kolisi leads the Springbok team onto the field before the first Test against England at Emirates Airline Park. Photo Credit: SA Rugby

In what is dubbed a North versus South series of Tests, the Southern Hemisphere teams almost all came out on top. The exception being Wales who beat the Pumas in Argentina. The Wallabies beat the Irish, the All Blacks beat  Les Bleus and the Springboks triumphed over the Roses. Rassie Erasmus now has a “get out of jail free card” according to Eddie Jones.

 

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Cornelius is a long serving analyst and rugby fanatic, now trying his hand at some in depth game and tournament dissemination. Cornelius' love for Rugby was solidified in 1995 when the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup after South Africa became a democratic nation. He has always believed that sport, although dividing us on the pitch, is the best tool to bring us all together. After school, he traveled and worked in the UK, before returning to South Africa and working as a data analyst for a utility company. He has also worked in the Middle East (Egypt), and upon returning in 2017, started writing part time.

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