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England v New Zealand: Owen Farrell clear to face All Blacks

05 November 2018

"It was a good Test match".

Within the England camp, nevertheless, this may yet prove a small but pivotal breakthrough in terms of their 2019 prospects.

Ex-England halfback Matt Dawson said that if the shoe was on the other foot, England's players would be crying foul.

How bout that alleged tackle‚ Eddie Jones?

Even the great Harry Houdini would not have relished the padlocked straitjacket in which the Springboks had their opponents imprisoned.

Farrell's penalty seven minutes from time, the third of four scored by an England team who didn't manage a try, nudged the hosts into a one-point lead.

Match citing commissioner Keith Brown, of New Zealand, who had 24 hours to review the incident, however yesterday decided not to make any citings from the match, which leaves Farrell free to play. "What other teams in world sport do that?" "I can not wait", Jones said.

South Africa were missing the English club-based duo of fullback Willie le Roux and-half Faf de Klerk, with Wasps and Sale not obliged to release them for a fixture that fell outside World Rugby's November window. They too had already parked the victory: "Finish this game". With a couple of tweaks - perhaps Sam Underhill for the injured Tom Curry on the openside flank and a front-row reshuffle - it is not a game Jones sees as unwinnable. "Sometimes you can take what you want from it", Farrell said. You've got to understand where they're weak, understand where they're strong and be disciplined in your game plan. New Zealand are going to be different. We're a bloody good team.

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However, South Africa kept them pinned in their own half for much of the opening 40 and led through Sibusiso Nkosi's try in the corner less than ten minutes before the break.

"The belief you get from winning those tight games is enormous".

"If it was legal we just have to latch on and do it the same way. Nothing has changed there, mate!"

"I said to the boys after South Africa that I can't wait".

I guess we'll never know. "To do that against a side that should've beaten New Zealand twice in a row is not bad".

Jones said the victory, which eases the pressure on the head coach after just one win in the previous six tests, would make "everyone feel a bit better" and was adamant he and his squad believed they could defeat the world champions.

South Africa were well on top, but Malcolm Marx let England off the hook with a poor throw from a line-out and Farrell levelled expertly from the tee against the run of play before Itoje returned to the fray.

England v New Zealand: Owen Farrell clear to face All Blacks