Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rugby Test: South Africa v England

South Africa v England at Twickenham

This clash is brewing up into a most interesting encounter. These two teams battled out the final of the 2007 Rugby World Cup and were at the time the giants of world rugby. It would be difficult to tag that label on them at the moment. Both sides has struggled to dominate their opposition so a rematch of the Cup final looms as a titanic struggle with the pressure on both sides to perform.

England were too organised for a Pacific Island team flung together at the last minute but found the Australians too tough last weekend. England is rebuilding their side after the disappointments of the 2007 Rugby World Cup and the 2007-08 6 Nations tournament. Their forwards are certainly lacking the muscle usually associated with an English side whilst the backline is missing the composure of a Johno Wilkinson.

South Africa has experienced the high and lows of test rugby in 2008 but at the tail end of their season they are struggling. South Africa has rarely showed the form this year that won them the 2007 Rugby World Cup. They look a tired bunch only they only just squeeked past Scotland last weekend.
Last Five Encounters
20.10.2007 South Africa 15-6 in Paris (World Cup Final)
04.09.2007 South Africa 36-0 in Paris (World Cup, Pool A)
02.06.2007 South Africa 55-22 in Pretoria
26.05.2007 South Africa 58-10 in Bloemfontein
21.11.2006 South Africa 25-14 at Twickenham

You have to go back seven test matches before you read an England win in the history of clashes between these two nations. That was a close 23-21 win at Twickenham November two years ago.

GWC Rugby Rankings: Europe Table-South Africa 2nd, England 5th.

Prediction: South Africa by 11 points.


15 Delon Armitage
14 Paul Sackey
13 James Noon
12 Riki Flutey
11 Ugo Monye
10 Daniel Cipriani
9 Danny Care
8 Nicholas Easter
7 Thomas Rees
6 James Haskell
5 Thomas Palmer
4 Steven Borthwick, Capt.
3 Phillip Vickery
2 Lee Mears
1 Timothy Payne
16 Dylan Hartley
17 Matthew Stevens
18 Simon Shaw
19 Thomas Croft
20 Jordan Crane
21 Harry Ellis
22 Tobias Flood
Head Coach: Martin Johnson

South Africa
15 Conrad Jantjes
14 JP Pietersen
13 Adrian Jacobs
12 Jean de Villiers
11 Bryan Habana
10 Ruan Pienaar
9 Ricky Januarie
8 Pierre Spies
7 Danie Rossouw
6 Schalk Burger
5 Victor Matfield
4 Bakkies Botha
3 Jannie du Plessis
2 John Smit, Capt
1 Beast Mtawarira
16 Chiliboy Ralepelle
17 Brian Mujati/CJ van der Linde
18 Andries Bekker
19 Ryan Kankowski
20 Heinrich Brussow
21 Francois Steyn
22 Jaque Fourie
Head Coach: Pieter de Villiers

For lists of all international rugby tests played by South Africa, and by England, go to

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