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England edge out South Africa in Twickenham thriller

England edge out South Africa in Twickenham thriller
© Reuters
A last-gasp penalty earns England a 27-26 victory over South Africa at Twickenham, the Proteas having previously overturned a half-time deficit before suffering defeat.

England have edged out South Africa in a thriller at Twickenham, recording a 27-26 victory courtesy of a last-gasp penalty.

The Proteas had been on course for a comeback win in North London before Marcus Smith sent over a routine penalty with less than a minute remaining.

Eddie Jones's team made the perfect start as Manu Tuilagi went over in the seventh minute, a score which came before his early withdrawal through injury.

Before the the end of the first quarter, Freddie Steward touched down as England established a 14-3 lead, but four penalties from Handre Pollard took South Africa into the break trailing 17-12.

Pollard added a fifth soon after half time before Elton Jantjies added a further three points with 16 minutes left, the visitors now leading by a point.

England responded through Raffi Quirke, the youngster finishing off a well-constructed move, but South Africa were back to 24-23 down with 11 minutes remaining as Makazole Mapimpi took full advantage of some poor England defending.

South Africa led for just the second time in the match with seven minutes left, Frans Steyn sending over a penalty, but an infringement in front of the posts gave Smith the simple task of earning a memorable win for the hosts.

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