Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Owen Farrell's monstrous game-saving hit that has divided the internet

Owen Farrell's monstrous game-saving hit that has divided the internet

England coach Eddie Jones backed Owen Farrell to avoid being cited for a risky tackle that could rule him out of next week's clash with New Zealand as he turned on his critics following a nail-biting 12-11 win over South Africa on Saturday.

South Africa scored the only try through Sibusiso Nkosi but their 8-6 halftime lead didn't reflect its total dominance.

England were transformed in the second half, with their backs finally getting the ball in hand and Farrell and Elliot Daly providing the points with the boot. In terms of 2019, there are questions that Eddie Jones needs to find answers to that are more important than a W or an L. However, as he said to my boys down in Maidenhead RFC: "The beer tastes better when you win".

Unlike Jones, who was unable to select the likes of Billy and Mako Vunipola, Courtney Lawes, Joe Launchbury and Chris Rodber because of injuries and may also have to wait to see how other banged-up forwards recover, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has a full set of veterans ready to go.

However, the likes of former Ireland and Lions winger Luke Fitzgerald and ex-England fly-half Andy Goode, along with many commentators, took the opposite view. I think the players deserve enormous credit.

"We just stuck at it, we stayed in the arm wrestle".

The 27-year-old limped off just two minutes into the second-half of the 12-11 Test loss to England at Twickenham with what Erasmus believes is an ankle injury. The cover from the bench is the uncapped Zach Mercer.

You couldn't question England's desire during the opening match of their "autumn series", but if they are to have any chance of gazumping the New Zealanders at headquarters next weekend they will surely need to find ways to add some energy and variety to their attack.

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"We left a couple of opportunities out there but it was important to get the win".

England survived the early sin-binning of lock Maro Itoje and had to defend for their lives to keep the score to 3-3 after half an hour's play in which their scrum was constantly under pressure.

However, Farrell missed another shot at goal and Pollard restored his team's lead with a 48-metre penalty despite the Springboks barely crossing halfway.

He appeared to lead with the shoulder in tackling Andre Esterhuizen, an offence that under the current crackdown on unsafe tackles could have resulted in a red card being issued by referee Angus Gardner.

Farrell landed a big shoulder on replacement Esterhuizen as he tracked across field with the clock in the red The force of the collision sent Esterhuizen bouncing back Australian referee Angus Gardner ruled the tackle legitimate after reviewing the video the tourists' disappointment.and Farrell's delight. "He had a 30m run up at me so it was tough, we both popped up off each other and it is hard to keep that under control".

"The young players did exceptionally well and we can look forward to New Zealand now".

Erasmus added that lock Eben Etzebeth could be out of the remaining November Tests, with France, Scotland and Wales, with an ankle injury.

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