24 November 2008After narrow victories over Wales and Scotland, the Springboks were expected to be pushed hard by England in their final test of the year on Saturday. As it happened, South Africa saved their best for last, crushing England 42-6 to hand them their biggest loss ever at Twickenham.The victory was built on a stubborn hard-hitting defence and opportunistic counter-attacking with a sharp edge.Captain John Smit said afterwards that South Africa won the battle of the advantage line: when the Boks had the ball they dented the line, while England were knocked backwards when they had the ball.Committed and ferociousThe image of England retaining possession but losing territory is one that will remain from the test; time after time they were repulsed by committed and ferocious gang tackling which earned the Springboks the upper hand at the collisions.England did well to force a number of turnovers – probably the area of South Africa’s game that was most concerning – but they were unable to do much with the ball they won because of the Boks’ fierce tackling.When England managed to get close to the South African tryline some outstanding defence stopped them crossing the whitewash; Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha came up with two of the best stops of the game, with England looking odds-on to score on both occasions.Attacking defenceA number of tries resulted from defence – attacking defence – as the Springboks ran in five tries to nil.Meanwhile, the experiment of converting Ruan Pienaar from scrumhalf to flyhalf proved to be an outstanding success. He performed well in all three of the Springboks’ tests on their tour and was very impressive at Twickenham.The suggestion by former Brumbies and Wallabies coach that Pienaar reminds him of Australian legend Stephen Larkham looks as if it could be accurate.Kick offEngland started the game with a grubber from the kick off. Schalk Burger managed to gather the ball, but the Springboks were penalised for going off their feet at the breakdown. Danny Cipriani stepped up and slotted the penalty to give the home team a 3-0 lead in the first minute.When Conrad Jantjes kicked off for the Boks, his kick went directly into touch. From the resulting scrum on the halfway line South Africa were penalised. After the unconvincing showings of the previous two weeks, Springbok supporters could have been forgiven for thinking it was going to be “one of those days”. However, the SA ship was soon righted.LevelCaptain Smit forced a penalty at a ruck by staying on his feet as he tried to win the ball while England held onto possession. Ruan Pienaar took a kick at goal and struck it sweetly to pull South Africa level at 3-3.The early scrums were a mess and after nine minutes referee Nigel Owens penalised the Boks at a set piece. England flyhalf Cipriani attempted a penalty from 49 metres out, but was short of the uprights.There was a heart-in-mouth moment for South African fans when Jantjes had a kick charged down inside the SA 22. Bryan Habana raced back to gather the ball, but conceded a five-metre scrum to the England.First tryFour minutes later the Springboks had turned defence into attack and forced a scrum near the England tryline. Pienaar made a half-break to force England onto the back foot. Then, when the ball was moved inside, Danie Rossouw ran onto it at pace, fought his way through three would-be tacklers and crashed over near the posts for the first try of the match.Pienaar knocked over the easy conversion to put the Springboks seven points clear at 10-3.The flyhalf was then solely responsible for South Africa’s next try when he charged down a kick by Cipriani, fielded the bouncing ball and ran through to score under the English uprights.His conversion increased the SA advantage to 17-3.Try-saving tackleThree minutes later England broke out after a swiftly taken penalty. Delon Armitage headed for the right hand corner, but Bakkies Botha with a superb effort and excellent cover defence, tackled him and forced the fullback to put a foot on the sideline only metres from the tryline as JP Pietersen arrived to assist him.Pienaar knocked over another penalty to put South Africa 20-3 ahead, but Cipriani answered with one for England to make the score 20-6.Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira was yellow-carded 10 minutes from the break for going off his feet at a ruck, leaving South Africa to play most of the rest of the half with only 14 men. England, though, could not take advantage of their numerical superiority.After the break England worked their way up to the South African tryline, but Victor Matfield made an outstanding tackle to turn back the English charge less than a metre short of the line.Sharp blowShortly afterwards the Boks struck a sharp blow in response to England’s attacking efforts. JP Pietersen made an incision into the England backline with a nice run before offloading to Adrian Jacobs who, with a sharp change of direction, wrong-footed Armitage and then held off the covering Paul Sackey to crash over for South Africa’s third try.Pienaar slotted the conversion to move South Africa into a 27-6 lead.Once again England worked their way up the field, but South Africa’s defence was stubborn and Bryan Habana stopped the home team in their tracks with an outstanding and powerful tackle.30 points upAfter an hour Jaque Fourie, on as a substitute, won SA a penalty and Pienaar made it 30-6.For the second time in the contest South Africa were reduced to 14 men when referee Owens deemed Jantjes guilty of obstruction as England sought a way through the stubborn Springbok defence. It appeared to be a dubious decision with replays indicating that Jantjes had merely stood his ground after the ball had been chipped over his head.With less than 10 minutes to go Francois Steyn almost created a fourth try for SA with a neat break. Habana was up in support and offloaded to Jean de Villiers, but he was brought down just short of the tryline.Fourth trySpringbok determination and doggedness was underlined four minutes from time when they once again blunted an England attack and turned the ball over. Steyn punted far downfield and Fourie chased. He arrived at the ball fractionally after Paul Sackey, but wrestled the ball from the England winger.Delon Armitage raced back to tackle Fourie, but he handed off the fullback, stumbled to his knees, regained his feet and ran through for South Africa’s fourth five-pointer. Steyn, whose kick had started the try-scoring movement, knocked over the conversion to extend the South African lead to 37-6.Habana scoresWith time running out the Springboks were awarded a free-kick, which they quickly moved wide. Good hands gave Habana some space and he dived over for Boks’ fifth try.Steyn was wide with the attempted conversion, but when the final whistle sounded straight after that South Africa had ended their three-match tour of the United Kingdom with a record 42-6 victory over England.Ironically, it was the same margin of victory as the Springboks achieved over the English in pool play at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, when they won 36-0.While most of England’s fans quietly left Twickenham, the Boks did a victory lap of the stadium, cheered on by the many South African fans in attendance.Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
A day after deadly violence claimed 31 lives and left over 250 injured in Haryana, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Saturday came down heavily on the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government, calling its inaction “a political surrender to allure vote bank.”A full Bench of the court, comprising acting Chief Justice S.S. Saron and Justices Avneesh Jhingan and Surya Kant, was hearing a Public Interest Litigation petition filed by a Panchkula resident, raising law and order concerns as a large number of people had reportedly entered the district, despite prohibitory orders.“This was political surrender to allure vote bank, they [the Dera followers] were outsiders, you allowed them to enter and stay,” the court remarked.Asking how the State government had not taken notice of the build-up of Dera supporters in Panchkula, the court — in the backdrop of Mr. Khattar’s alleged statement on Friday that anti-social elements had created the problem — remarked: “If the Chief Minister was aware of the presence of anti-social elements, why the government was not able to prevent their entry for the past seven days?”The court, while remarking on the statement of Additional Solicitor-General Satya Pal Jain (representing the Centre) that Friday’s violence was a matter of the State, said: “The Prime Minister is PM of the country and not of particular party… Is Punjab and Haryana not a part of India?”The court, as an interim measure, directed the Deputy Commissioners in Haryana and Punjab to identify the assets and properties of the Dera Sacha Sauda and submit a list of the same to the court for attachment.“The list should include assets, incomes, bank accounts and properties. However, till then, no properties of the Dera Sacha Sauda shall be sold, transferred, alienated or encumbered in any manner,” said the order.Application for damageThe court said the Deputy Commissioners in Haryana and Punjab shall invite applications for claims for damage caused to public and private properties, which shall be verified and forwarded to the court through the offices of the Advocate-Generals of Punjab and Haryana.“The Bench has taken a serious cognisance of yesterday’s violence and said the loss due to the violence is a loss to the nation and the taxpayer. This loss will be compensated by those responsible for it,” said Punjab Advocate-General Atul Nanda.‘Fly CBI judge to jail’The court also ordered the Haryana administration to make arrangements to take CBI judge Jagdeep Singh and two of his staff members to the Rohtak district jail by air for pronouncing the quantum of sentence against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted for rape on Friday.The court notified the jail as a “place of sitting of the CBI court for the purpose of hearing of quantum of sentence.”The Dera chief is lodged in Rohtak jail, and the quantum of sentence will be announced on Monday.An order issued by the Registrar of the Punjab and High Court said: “Suitable accommodation for court room, etc. in the District jail, Rohtak at Sunaria shall be provided and arrangements also be made for the lawyers and parties to have an easy access in court room in the district jail. Further, necessary arrangements for security and safe transport by air of the judicial officer, who has to try the case in the district jail and two of staff members, shall also be made.”Haryana Government suspended Ashok Kumar, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Panchkula, and posted Manbir Singh as the new DCP.Tens of thousands of Dera followers went on the rampage in Panchkula on Friday as the news broke that their chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had been convicted of rape by a CBI special court. The violence spread to other towns in Haryana and parts of Punjab as well. Few incidents of arson were reported in Delhi.