Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira celebrated victory in his 100th Test appearance for the Springboks as the team clinched the Castle Lager Incoming Series over England at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
South Africa overturned a 12-0 deficit to win 23-12 – holding England scoreless from the 13th minute to the final whistle – to follow on their come-from-behind 42-39 triumph in the first Test.
Despite the victory, Director of South African Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, said that there was still much work to do:
“One positive was being down only by 12 points rather than 24 and we showed good composure to come back quicker this week. The guys realised where the mistakes were and we showed that it doesn’t matter how far down we are, we can come back. We made a lot of mistakes; there were bad penalties and a lot of things that we did wrong but we have the character to come back.”
Erasmus isn’t content with just winning the series, however, as he targets a clean sweep of June internationals:
“We want to win it 3-0 and maybe put different guys under different pressures in different circumstances, and we will try a few things but after the series win we are breathing a bit easier.”
England coach Eddie Jones said that his team wanted to “get our pride back” in the third Test.
He said that they had won back-to-back Six Nations titles, equalled the world record for Test wins and won a series, 3-0, in Australia and that they would stick together to turn things around.
Jones noted the improvement in South Africa, stating:
“I think the selection has been good; they obviously have a very clear plan about how they want to play and they are executing it well. It’s traditional Springbok rugby. They have some good young players who are developing well and there are plenty more around as well – how good they can become only time will tell.
The third and final Test in the Castle Lager Incoming Series is in Cape Town next Saturday.