South Africa hand England fifth successive defeat

first_imgBy Mitch PhillipsSouth Africa held off a fierce England fightback to triumph 31-28 in a thunderous test at Twickenham on Saturday to make it five defeats in a row for Stuart Lancaster’s side 10 months before they host the World Cup.Two tries put South Africa 20-6 ahead a minute into the second half and though England scored two quickfire rolling maul tries to get level, Schalk Burger got the key third Springbok score and the boot of flyhalf Pat Lambie brought them home.The victory made it 11 wins and a draw for the Boks against England, dating back to 2006, and was a hugely satisfying one following their defeat by Ireland last weekend.The frustration for England was that, just as a week ago against the All Blacks, they dominated the early stages but this time failed to turn possession into points and found themselves 10-0 down after 15 minutes after Jan Serfontein intercepted a Danny Care pass.When England did fashion an opening, poor handling or bad decision-making let them down, encapsulated when massive lock Dave Attwood ignored a two-man overlap and backed himself to get to the line, only to blow the chance.England had the best of possession and territory in the first half but were generally too lateral in their attacks and only two Owen Farrell penalties kept them in touch at 13-6 down.That gap became 14 points 38 seconds after the restart when Lambie chipped a perfectly weighted kick into the arms of Willie le Roux which the fullback gathered without breaking stride before slipping a lovely offload for Cobus Reinach to complete a wonderful score.England needed to hit back immediately and did so emphatically in the way they know best.A monster maul that South Africa, deprived of sin-binned lock Victor Matfield, were powerless to stop, sent prop David Wilson over and minutes later virtually the entire England team combined for another irresistible 40-metre charge that ended with Ben Morgan making it 20-20.South Africa showed, however, that they too could score through the forwards when, still with 14 men, they rolled over the corner for Burger to score and Lambie took his side 10 points clear with a penalty and a drop goal.Centre Brad Barritt scored England’s third try in the last minute but, just as last week, it came too late and merely made the margin of defeat look more respectable.last_img read more

Ruckers five seasons in Cincinnati left him with

first_imgRucker’s five seasons in Cincinnati left him with a good idea of what to expect. And what he’s expecting is a tough battle.“They’re coached well, great receivers, great quarterback, great running back, solid O-line,” Rucker said. “They’ve got the kind of thunder and lightning with [Jeremy] Hill and [Giovani] Bernard back there at running back and Andy [Dalton] isn’t shy to throw it down the field. We know we have our hands filled across the board. It’s a lot of matchups that look good and it’s going to be a great game Sunday night.”All in all, there’s a plethora of threats from the Bengals for a defensive end like Rucker to deal with — like those vintage rushes of the Bengals’ conference.“That’s just true AFC North football,” Rucker said. “The Pittsbughs, Baltimores, that’s what they do. They got big O-linemen and they try to cover up the D-linemen and get mush yards — which basically putting bodies on bodies — and just laying all their weight on people and letting the running backs fall forward.”Rucker knows about the Bengals’ strange shifts as well, but thinks those can be stopped with research this week. Arizona Cardinals defensive end Frostee Rucker (92) celebrates a stop as New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) gets up during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Your browser does not support the audio element. “They do give us a lot of funky formations and whatnot but you’ve got to study it,” he said. “Teams will come up with a play here or there that they came up with during the week but then other than that, they’re going to play their base stuff so as long as we can weather the storm of all their shifts and motions, we’ll be alright.” Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo LISTEN: Frostee Rucker, Cardinals defensive lineman There’s a former Cincinnati Bengal hyped up to play his old team this weekend in Glendale, and we’re not talking about the guy you’re thinking of.Arizona Cardinals defensive end and veteran leader Frostee Rucker was drafted by the Bengals in 2006 and played in the orange and black until 2011.“I think anytime you get to match up versus some of your friends and old teammates, there’s the will to want to do better,” Rucker said on the Doug and Wolf show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “My feelings aren’t the same as Carson [Palmer]’s – I left on a different note, I left in free agency. It’s a lot different feel but obviously, we want to win and I share that same feeling with Carson.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more