Jonny May stops England rot with decisive try in third South Africa Test

first_img South Africa 10-25 England: third Test – as it happened Share on Twitter Reuse this content … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Owen Farrell kicked 20 points in Cape Town to end England’s losing run. Photograph: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images Support The Guardian Topics The Breakdown: sign up and get our weekly rugby union email. Share on Messenger Twitter Share on Pinterest Read more Cape Town’s water shortage is thankfully easing and so, at long last, is the English rugby drought.There was nothing remotely pretty about their display on a damp, blustery afternoon but, even with the series gone, the touring team finally have something to declare on their return to Heathrow. Instead of a fretful summer contemplating a sixth successive Test defeat, they can now relax and dream of rosier times ahead.Eddie Jones will be suitably relieved as will his captain, Owen Farrell, whose kicking haul of 20 points punished a slightly off-colour Springbok side in horrible conditions. Perhaps significantly, too, there was a telling shaft of genius from the recalled Danny Cipriani, whose lovely angled cross-kick created England’s game‑clinching try for the increasingly prolific Jonny May eight minutes from the end.Who knows what the future now holds for Cipriani in an England shirt but, just for a fleeting moment, his decade-long wait for another England start was gloriously rewarded. Read more The Observer England rugby union team Rugby union Share on WhatsApp While not even Jones would claim England are instantly reincarnated as world-beaters following this defiant parting shot, it was also a highly satisfying occasion for Chris Robshaw, recalled to the back row for a contest which suited his strengths, and young Tom Curry, who has never flinched during this frequently demanding series. Not all Tests, unfortunately for the visitors, are played in such aquatic conditions or at this sluggish pace. More stern examinations loom this autumn before the English patient can be classified as fully cured.In the final analysis, South Africa may also conclude that the weather and a penalty count of 14-6 in the visitors’ favour undid them as much as their opponents. No one locally is complaining about a little bit of much-needed moisture but conditions were far removed from the serene weather England have otherwise enjoyed on this tour. Boats have been unable to head out to Robben Island for the past two days because of high winds and choppy seas and Table Mountain was shrouded in a thick shawl of grey cloud.Even the prancing tribal warriors preceding the home side on to the field struggled to stay upright on the treacherous surface, a sure sign this would be a very different type of game to the previous two Tests. England, though, were steadier in certain key respects, certainly more so than poor Elton Jantjies who had a grim game at fly-half for the Springboks. Farrell, in contrast landed six penalties and a conversion while Cipriani showed sufficient composure when it mattered late on to justify his recall.It was never going to be easy for creative types, let alone a fly-half starting his first Test for 10 years. Initially Cipriani had to make do with the odd touch here and there as South Africa drove hard and tackled with enthusiasm. England were denied the spectacular start that has been their speciality this month but two Farrell penalties still ensured they led at the interval.With Jantjies struggling to gain any kind of grip on the ball or the contest, however, England just about deserved their half-time lead. At no point, though, was it remotely comfortable. At one stage the tiny Faf de Klerk, like Asterix after a couple of glugs of magic potion, single‑handedly drove the massive Nathan Hughes several metres backwards towards his own line, the No 8 having peeled ponderously off the back of a scrum. Mike Brown and May also did well to prevent a seemingly certain try, with Jesse Kriel and S’busiso Nkosi failing to convert a clear two-on-one opportunity down the right.Having clawed back a penalty three points just before the break, though, the Boks were in front within seven minutes of the restart. Their head coach, Rassie Erasmus, has made excellent use of his bench in this series and swapping his entire front row en bloc again paid immediate dividends. Up the middle barrelled the impressive Steven Kitshoff and with the white defence scrambling Warrick Gelant slipped through a lovely grubber for Kriel to gather and score. With the 37-year-old Schalk Brits on for his first Test appearance since 2015, Willie Le Roux reinstated at full‑back and Handre Pollard replacing the hapless Jantjies, there was also suddenly more experience in green and gold ranks. Farrell, however, swiftly recaptured the lead with two further penalties before Cipriani and May applied the final dagger. The fly-half was falling as he attempted to connect with the ball but the outcome was perfect, the Leicester winger reaching the loose ball right in the corner of the in-goal area to seal England’s first victory since they defeated Wales back in February at Twickenham.If this was the final Test to be played at Newlands, sadly, the famous old stadium was not blessed with the sold-out status it deserved. It is entirely possible the weather deterred some while the fact the series was already decided probably caused a few others to stay at home; either way, fewer than 34,000 in were in attendance and it was not a spectacle the locals will recall fondly for years.Jones’s England, in contrast will cling tight to this result all summer as proof there is a brightening future ahead of them. Since you’re here… Share on Facebook match reports South Africa rugby team Share on LinkedIn Pinterest Facebook Ireland defeat Australia to claim Lansdowne Cup in dramatic third Test Share via Emaillast_img