South Africa 36 England 27: Springboks win clinches series
A second-half fight-back is not enough for England as Stuart Lancaster's men suffered their second loss in South Africa
Ben Youngs scored two tries in the space of 10 second-half minutes but it was not enough as England failed to secure a remarkable comeback win over South Africa in Johannesburg.
England started slowly and trailed 25-10 at the break – tries from Willem Alberts, Bismarck du Plessis and Francois Hougaard helping to put the Springboks into such a commanding position.
However, five minutes after Morne Steyn extended their lead to 28-10, Youngs, who started the final three matches of England’s RBS 6 Nations campaign this year from the bench, popped up for a converted score before repeating the trick ten minutes later.
Steyn kicked a penalty in between but when Toby Flood followed suit in the 65th minute England were behind by just four points – however a JP Pietersen try ended matters at 36-27.
Defeat sees South Africa take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, while Ireland and Wales suffered a similar fate against New Zealand and Australia respectively.
Dan Carter kicked a last-minute drop-goal as New Zealand ran out 22-19 winners – coming from 10-0 down after a try from Conor Murray and a Jonathan Sexton conversion and penalty for Ireland.
Four penalties thereon in from Carter plus a converted Aaron Smith try put the Kiwis 19-13 ahead however two penalties from Sexton to add to one at the start of the half pulled Ireland level.
However, Carter broke Irish hearts as they too surrendered the series while Mike Harris’ injury-time penalty crushed Welsh ones as Australia recorded a 25-23 victory.
Wales looked set for their first win over the Wallabies in Australia for 43 years as converted tries from George North and Jonathan Davies plus three Leigh Halfpenny penalties had them 23-22 ahead with 14 minutes remaining.
However, replacement Harris won it for Australia – who kept themselves within touching distance with a converted Rob Horne try and five penalties from the boot of Berrick Barnes.
Scotland were the only Home Nations outfit to record victory on Saturday as two tries from Tim Visser helped them run out 37-25 winners in a hard-fought contest with Fiji.
Visser’s first try at the end of the first half plus a penalty try and 14 points from Greig Laidlaw put Scotland 24-11 ahead at half-time.
However, tries from Waisea Nayacalevu and Metuisela Talebula, to add to Josefa Domolailai’s first-half score, helped cut the deficit to two points with 12 minutes to play.
But Visser had the last laugh, grabbing his second try in the 72nd with Laidlaw converting to end with a personal tally of 22 points.
© Sportsbeat 2012