Friday, September 14, 2007

Embarrassing England

Just when England fans thought it couldn't get any worse, South Africa gave the red rose boys a lesson in how to play the game. Ten minutes in and Englad were 10 points down. Then Matt Stevens gave away another penalty and the Boks made it 13-0. Three drop goal attempts by the South Africans went wide, but with two minutes to half time, J P Pietersen crossed the line for the first of his two tries. Percy Montgomery added the extras and England were staring down the barrell of a 20-0 gun at the break.

Andy Gomarsall was brought on in place of Perry as the second half started, and he marshalled the forwards but didin't make a significant difference. At 45 minutes, Montgomery kicked another penalty to take his tally beyond 800 points for the Springboks.

Like the last game, Jason Robinson [left] was one of the brighter sparks in the team, time after time he chased the high kicks and got some possession, only for it to be squandered later by a wayward pass or fumble by other players. It was really sad to see him pull up with a possible Achilles injury at 58 minutes. It would be a great shame for his rugby career to end there and then, but it was great to see the ovation he got from England and South African fans alike as he hobbled off the field. Let's hope the news isn't as bad as it seemed.

The other worry was Jamie Noon being stretchered off the field with one minute to go - God knows we don't need any more injury worries.

As for the rest of the game, it was a depressing one way street, and 36-0 was the worst defeat ever suffered by England during a World Cup. I thought Fourie du Preez [right] had a great game at Scrum Half, but generally, England were out-thought and out-muscled in all areas of their game.

There's a hell of a long way to go if England are to even contemplate beating Samoa next weekend. It's a depressing time to wear the white jersey...

No comments: