Story of the match as South Africa condemn England to sixth straight defeat
Once again the boot of Handre Pollard helped sweep South Africa out of reach.
England suffered a sixth successive defeat as they were brushed aside 23-12 by South Africa to surrender the series in a bad-tempered second Test at Free State Stadium.
A blistering start that saw Mike Brown and Jonny May run in fine tries to open up a 12-0 lead evoked memories of Ellis Park a week ago, but although the collapse that followed was not as dramatic it was ultimately more convincing as they failed to score again.
Duane Vermeulen, a Springboks force at number eight, stormed over before the home scrum won a penalty try that placed Eddie Jones’s men on the brink in the Afrikaners’ heartland of Bloemfontein.
Once again the boot of Handre Pollard helped sweep South Africa out of reach as three penalties made their mark on the scoreboard, propelling the hosts to a 2-0 series victory with one Test still to play in Cape Town.
Tweet of the match
All this talk about altitude is a distraction. Poor game management and defensive disorganisation more to blame for England's woes.— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) June 16, 2018
Former England hooker Brian Moore took aim at England’s mentality as they again wasted a good start.
Handre Pollard. The South Africa fly-half was outshone by opposite number George Ford in the opening 15 minutes, but grew into the game and kept his composure better than England’s play-makers. Controlled the contest with his game management – something the tourists sorely lacked – and his precise penalty kicking from distance punished England’s indiscipline.
Moment of the match
As England battled for a foothold in the second half, back row Brad Shields went over, only to have the ball knocked out of his hand as he went to touch it down. The try was correctly chalked off.
Prop Tendai Mtawarira marked reaching a century of caps for the Springboks with an impressive display – both making ground with ball in hand and causing England to lose their discipline at the breakdown.
Who’s up next?
South Africa v England, third Test (Cape Town, June 23)