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Malcolm Marx comedy of errors undoes South Africa against England | Robert Kitson

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South Africa were their own worst enemy at Twickenham as they failed to make the most of their advantages in 12-11 defeat

A good big ’un, they say, will always beat a good little ’un. South Africa brought a pack full of giants, but, against all odds, the people who ultimately dragged them to earth were also dressed in green. Had the Springboks taken even half their first-half chances they would have been way out of sight long before England’s improbable revival.

It was like watching one of those James Bond films when 007 is strapped to a table with the cackling villain pondering how best to finish him off. A massive 78% territory advantage for the visitors in the first 40 minutes told its own one-sided story, seemingly the only question being how long it would be before England cracked.

Related: Owen Farrell’s kicks and hits help England overcome South Africa

When England’s opponents scent weakness at Test level it is almost always fatal – but not this time

Related: England 12-11 South Africa: Farrell kicks Red Rose to victory – as it happened!

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