England's Manu Tuilagi off after injuring himself in act of scoring
Tuilagi opened his account against the Springboks, racing into the left corner for a fine England try. The Sale powerhouse made no mistake with the finish after England had eschewed a shot at goal to punt an early penalty to the corner.
England worked the ball across both sides of the pitch after the five-metre lineout, creating enough space to send Tuilagi home for the try.
Marcus Smith’s fine touchline conversion ensured England took a 7-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes.
No sooner had Tuilagi finished the try then he trudged off the field, to be replaced by Max Malins.
The early loss of England’s backline powerhouse pivot would doubtless leave Eddie Jones’ men exposed against the Boks, forcing the hosts into a near-immediate rejigging of their tactical set-up.
Handre Pollard slotted a penalty to put South Africa on the board, trailing 7-3 approaching the quarter-hour.
Jonny May was pinged for not releasing on the deck after England were caught out for poor alignment with a kick in behind.
England hit back immediately however, with Freddie Steward claiming his second Test score in his fifth cap.
The Leicester full-back steamed through three defenders for a potent finish, after another dominant England scrum.
Smith posted the conversion to boot, to push England into a 12-3 lead approaching the end of the first quarter.
Pollard slotted a second penalty to cut England’s lead to 14-6.
England had infringed at a lineout and the Boks fly-half easily converted the goal.
Tom Curry forced a fine breakdown penalty for England straight from the restart though, allowing the hosts to claim the advantage again.
Smith slotted the penalty to push England into a 17-6 lead.
Maro Itoje was penalised at the ruck to stem the hosts’ tide, and Pollard stepped up for a long-range shot at goal.
The South Africa fly-half delivered at full stretch, to leave the scores 17-9.
South Africa had all their accomplished powerhouses on show in a bid to outmuscle the hosts, with the ‘Bomb Squad’ replacement front-row ready to step off the bench in the closing stages.
Bevan Rodd and Jamie Blamire boasted just five caps between them as England fielded a callow front-row against the world champion Springboks at Twickenham.
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