England’s 10-year winless run against the Boks


Since their last victory in 2006 England have beaten Australia eight times, Argentina six and New Zealand once. They have seen four coaches depart - Andy Robinson, Brian Ashton, Martin Johnson and Stuart Lancaster - and played in three World Cups.

Here is a look at the 11 South African victories and one draw during the period:

England 14 South Africa 25, Nov. 25 2006, Twickenham.

A week earlier England had fought back to beat the Springboks 23-21 to extend their winning run against them to seven and seemingly save the skin of under-pressure coach Andy Robinson. This time it was Jake White's job that seemed to be on the line.

White was sweating when England led 14-3 after half an hour but South Africa fought back to lead at the break and dominated the second half, with Andre Pretorius landing four drop goals in all, in an echo of Jannie de Beer in South Africa's 1999 World Cup quarter-final win over England.

Instead it was Robinson who was sacked and White stayed on - winning the World Cup a year later.

South Africa 58 England 10, May 26 2007. Bloemfontein.

An England side under Brian Ashton so short of front line talent that it was closer to a third string than second were blown away by their biggest margin of defeat at the hands of the seven-try Springboks.

South Africa 55 England 22, June 2 2007, Pretoria

England's shadow side performed impressively to edge to a 19-17 halftime lead but it proved a false dawn. Winger Bryan Habana grabbed two tries for the second-week running as England crumbled in the face of a second-half onslaught.

South Africa 36 England 0, Sept. 14 2007 (Rugby World Cup, Paris).

Total humiliation for England - the defending world champions - who were disorganised and totally outplayed in every department in this pool-stage horror show.

South Africa 15, England 6, Oct 20 2007 - Rugby World Cup final, Paris.

England had somehow turned things around with impressive knockout victories over Australia and hosts France.

Those wins gave them a cautious confidence and if Mark Cueto's try had not been ruled out for his toe brushing the touchline, things might have been different.

South Africa, however, stuck with the plan that had seen them cruise through the tournament, kicking for territory and relying on their unbreachable defence, to win the World Cup for the second time.

England 6 South Africa 42, Nov. 22, 2008, Twickenham.

England's worst-ever defeat at Twickenham, sandwiched by losses to Australia and New Zealand, gave new coach Martin Johnson a baptism of fire.

Current England captain Dylan Hartley came off the bench to win his third cap in the match but could do little to stem the tide as the Boks ran in five tries.

England 11 South Africa 21, Nov 27 2010, Twickenham

After meeting seven times in two years, there had been a two-year gap before this game, but little seemed to have changed.

The Springboks had finished last in the Tri Nations and travelled to Twickenham having lost to Scotland but they were again still too strong for the hosts who had high hopes having impressively beaten Australia.

South Africa dominated and Ben Foden's late interception for England's first try against them in four games flattered England on the scoreboard.

South Africa 22, England 17, June 9 2012, Durban.

The first of three-match series between the countries was a closer affair as new coach Stuart Lancaster's side showed promise, but not enough invention, in the first game of Heyneke Meyer's reign.

South Africa 36 England 27, June 16 2012, Johannesburg.

In an action-packed test the Springboks raced to a 25-10 halftime lead but, helped by two tries for scrumhalf Ben Youngs, England got back within a score, only for JP Pietersen's late try to seal the home win.

South Africa 14 England 14, June 23 2012, Port Elizabeth.

A tight game brought the only, relatively, bright spot in England's 10-year tale of woe, ending a run of nine straight defeats in the fixture.

England 15 South Africa 16, Nov. 24 2012, Twickenham

England trailed 16-6 but fought back to 16-12. With time almost up captain Chris Robshaw instructed Owen Farrell to kick a penalty rather than go for touch. He landed it but there was insufficient time for England to launch another attack. “That was on me”, Robshaw said. Three years later he would take the opposite route against Wales in the World Cup, a decision with far more calamitous results.

England 28 South Africa 31, Nov. 15 2014 Twickenham.

England came in to the game on the back of four straight defeats against New Zealand, though there had been promise in the 24-21 reverse a week earlier, just as South Africa were losing to Ireland.

Again, England were slow out of the blocks and trailed by 14 points soon after the break, though a forward-inspired fightback made it 20-20 and had Twickenham rocking.

However, indiscipline allowed the Boks to rebuild their led and Brad Barritt's late try merely made the score more respectable.


Original source: England's 10-year winless run against the Boks