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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 12 December, 2018

Super Cipriani kick helps England beat 'Boks to end losing streak

Eddie Jones’ five-month, six-game slump is over.

OUT-HALF DANNY CIPRIANI vindicated his recall to the England number 10 shirt after a 10-year absence as he created the match-sealing try for Jonny May in Cape Town.

The boot of Owen Farrell had England well on their way to a 25-10 victory that ended a six-game losing streak for Eddie Jones’ side, but Cipriani’s 71st minute cross-field kick  finally put the contest beyond Rassie Erasmus’ revived Springboks.

England avoided a series whitewash after losing in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein by adapting better to conditions made difficult by pre-match rain, and wind. If ever a first half went according to script this was it with the conditions dictating a tactical kicking duel in search of territorial supremacy.

Farrell succeeded with his two penalty kicks and South Africa fly-half Elton Jantjies with one from two to leave the tourists three points ahead at half-time.

There was little to choose between the teams apart from the struggle for turnover ball, where England had the edge.  England also looked more threatening with ball in hand with May particularly elusive, and he also got back to avert a dangerous situation.

A kick ahead from South Africa winger Sibusiso Nkosi put England in peril only for May to gather the ball behind the tryline, dodge several rivals and kick to touch.

Farrell kicked his second penalty on 37 minutes and Jantjies slotted his first in added time to close a first-half battle of attrition.

South Africa England Rugby Source: Nasief Manie

Early in the second half, Farrell maintained his perfect goal-kicking record with a third penalty before South Africa scored the first try of the match.

After forward-led pressure nudged the Springboks close to the England tryline, a clever grubber kick from full-back Warrick Gelant set up centre Jesse Kriel to dot down.

Jantjies succeeded with a challenging conversion to give South Africa the lead for the first time in a forward dogfight. But the advantage did not last long as two Farrell penalties, either side of a missed long-range attempt by fullback Elliot Daly, gave England a 15-10 lead on the hour.

The no-frills England approach was enabling them to win the territorial battle, spending much of the half in the South African half and conceding fewer penalties.

The longer an arm-wrestle match progressed the more likely English victory looked and Cipriani’s excellent kick to the corner under pressure allowed May seal a long-awaited win.

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