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Watch: Arendse rinses Smith to conjure flashbacks of 2019 RWC Final

By Kim Ekin
Kurt-Lee Arendse does a 'Cheslin Kolbe' on Marcus Smith.

Springboks winger Kurt-Lee Arendse evoked memories of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final with a bamboozling try in Twickenham this evening.

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A scrappy start kicked off proceedings in West London with Owen Farrell and Faf de Klerk both missing simple penalty opportunities inside the opening 10 minutes.

England captain Farrell did atone with his next kick before De Klerk followed suit, with errors on show from two teams who had endured difficult Autumn Nations series to date.

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Farrell’s poor display with the boot continued with a second penalty sent wide of the posts after 22 minutes to ensure it was 3-3 at the midway point of the first half.

It was in the 33rd minute that a South African counter-attack saw flyhalf Damien Willemse and fullback Willie Le Roux break up the flank before Arendse was given one-on-one with Marcus Smith.

Smith didn’t stand a chance, with a perfectly timed step from Arendse taking him away and around the Harelquins’ flyhalf, before the rookie winger flew over the whitewash.

The 5-pointer evoked very obvious memories of the 2019 World Cup final in Japan, when fellow Bok flyer Cheslin Kolbe did something very similar to Owen Farrell.

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While De Klerk missed the conversion, the South Africa scrum-half did add another penalty late in the half and Willemse’s drop goal ensured the tourists were ahead at the interval with work to do for England.

Eddie Jones’ side produced a remarkable comeback to salvage a 25-25 draw with New Zealand last weekend but did start the Autumn Nations Series with a shock loss to Argentina.

The Springboks have also struggled during November, with Ireland and France able to inflict defeats on the World Cup holders.

South Africa were again without director of rugby Rassie Erasmus at Twickenham – after he also missed the 2021 fixture due to a year-long ban – with the controversial coach serving a two-match suspension from matchday involvement for publishing a series of critical tweets about officials.

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A line in the sand in Erasmus’ ongoing stand-off with World Rugby may have been drawn, however, after “positive discussions” were held with the world governing body on the morning of Saturday’s clash in London.

– PA, with additional reporting from RugbyPass

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