South Africa 42 -39 England: Jones in bust-up with Boks fans

Eddie Jones was involved in a confrontation with South Africa fans as England crashed to a fifth successive defeat.
South African winger Aphiwe Dyantyi dives over during a thrilling Test match in Johannesburg.  Photograph: Getty ImagesSouth African winger Aphiwe Dyantyi dives over during a thrilling Test match in Johannesburg.  Photograph: Getty Images
South African winger Aphiwe Dyantyi dives over during a thrilling Test match in Johannesburg. Photograph: Getty Images

Supporters leaned over the railings and verbally insulted Jones as he walked down the tunnel at the end of the first Test in Johannesburg.

The Australian stood his ground for ten to 15 seconds and engaged with his tormentors before being ushered away by players and staff.

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“They [South Africa fans] have always got plenty to say. Especially when they win,” Jones said after a match that saw England make a blistering start but then suffer a dramatic collapse. “I was just asking them where I could get a good bottle of Pinotage. I’m still waiting for the answer so if anyone can help me out, please help me out.

“They told me to go find it myself, so I’ll have to go find it myself. That’s what happened, that’s what I asked him. When I asked where I can get a nice bottle of Pinotage from, he didn’t respond. I might go back and see him later.

“I wouldn’t worry about that because it was such a great game of rugby. Don’t worry about one little conversation about a bottle of red wine in the tunnel.”

England could barely have made a better start at Ellis Park as a monster 61-metre penalty by Elliot Daly was followed by a try that started from inside their own 22. Quick hands released Jonny May down the right wing with Ben Youngs in hot pursuit and several phases later, Mike Brown was given sight of the line and he showed strength to shrug off two tackles and crash over.

South Africa came back hard but having been kept at bay, England struck again with George Ford conjuring a superb try. Henry Slade supplied an outrageous pass to Brown but the move was all about Ford as he picked out May and with the overlap appearing it was a simple run-in for Daly.

Two minutes later and they were over again, Slade’s long pass giving May space and with shell-shocked South Africa in disarray he sent Owen Farrell over under the posts.

England had amassed a scarcely-believable 24-3 lead by the 18th minute. But debutant S’busiso Nkosi’s charge to within inches of the whitewash was followed by the outstanding Faf De Klerk spinning over, stemming the flow of English points and initiating a high-octane fightback.

On the half-hour mark it was game on when a Springbok attack down the right was revived through their tenacity before De Klerk’s vision offered the lightning-fast Nkosi a half-chance. The danger should have been averted but Daly made a mess of gathering Nkosi’s grubber and the Sharks wing touched down.

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The dream debut continued when he popped up on the opposite wing after a clever run from Willie Le Roux created the space for fellow debutant Aphiwe Dyantyi to send him over.

Le Roux then turned scorer from a scrum after De Klerk and Handre Pollard, combined with Nkosi keeping his width, provided the platform for him to exploit a large hole in midfield. From being so dominant early on, Jones’ men suddenly found themselves 29-27 down at the break.

Two penalties from Pollard – the second won at a dominant scrum – increased the pressure on England, who were barely able to get their hands on the ball. When they did counter through Tom Curry a knock-on ended the attack and their frustration was clear when Mako Vunipola followed through on De Klerk, earning a yellow card.

And in the next play South Africa had all but sealed the outcome when Dyantyi juggled the ball while crossing the line before touching down.

Maro Itoje and May plundered late tries, but Pollard’s boot meant the Springboks had done enough despite a nervy finish.