SA v England II: Big-match Special
The SuperSport.com team was at Coca-Cola Park today to bring you all the action as South Africa and England met in the second test of the Castle Series.
Our two senior correspondents, Brenden Nel and Gavin Rich, brought us a good-as-there experience from a chilly Johannesburg.
Our coverage included text updates of the build-up, video, live streaming, a Q&A session and live text commentary.
You're welcome to join us on Facebook and Twitter and share your opinions, or simply leave a comment at the base of this page.
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14:45 - Good afternoon and welcome to our second Big-Match Special of the International season. We're bringing this to you live from Coca-Cola Park on a glorious highveld winter's afternoon. We're expecting the temperatures to drop quite a bit as the sun falls away behind the main pavillion just before kickoff, but for now the conditions are perfect for an entertaining afternoon of test-match rugby.
15:00 - Just a quick reminder that, like last week, SuperSport's coverage of this test will include a lot of user-generated content in both the build-up and throughout the match. To engage our studio panel of Xola, Nick, Naas and Ashwin, join us on our facebook page (facebook.com/supersportrugby) or make use of the hashtag #ssrugby on twitter. We'll also feature your comments here.
15:10 - Quite a bit of nervous anticipation here in the media box and throughout the stadium after this morning's two narrow wins by our Sanzar partners. Are the Boks in for the same kind of surprise today?
15:20 - We caught up with today's studio anchor, Xola Ntshinga, who gave us his thoughts on the match.
15:30 - Of course, today's venue is quite special one for the Springboks. We'll bring you the home side's impressive stats here a later, but for now, here is how the Springbok captain feels about playing here:
15:40 Here are the stats that matter before today's test:
- The Springboks have won the last eight consecutive Tests against England. This is a new record for South Africa against England.
- The last Test match at Coca-Cola Park was in 2009 when the Springboks lost the third Test against the British & Irish Lions in their biggest defeat at this venue (9-28).
- This will be the 44th Test at this venue. South Africa’s record here is: P 43; W 30; L 11; D 2; Win% 70.
- The biggest win by South Africa was against Argentina in 2008 (63-9). The Springboks have scored 140 tries and conceded 58 at Coca-Cola Park.
- South Africa and England played only two Tests at this venue before. In 1972 England won 18-9 and in 1984 South Africa won 35-9.
- The starting 15 boast a combined total of 470 Test caps – 168 amongst the forwards and 302 amongst the backs.
- Alain Rolland of Ireland is the referee. In the 13 Springbok Tests he’s handled, South Africa won seven and lost six. Rolland’s 13 Tests are the most Tests involving the Springboks by any international referee.
- Bryan Habana is South Africa’s most capped Springbok wing with 74 Tests and also most experienced player in the squad with 75 Test caps. He is the Springbok top try scorer with 40 career tries in Tests and all were scored as a wing. He also holds the Springbok record for most career tries in Tests against England – six. Bryan has played in nine Tests against England, together with Francois Steyn, the most of any player in this squad.
- With Morné Steyn’s try in the first Test in Durban, he became South Africa’s top try scorer as a flyhalf with seven career tries. Morné needs two more Tests as flyhalf to equal Butch James’ record of most capped Springbok flyhalf with 37 appearances. This Test will be Morne’s 24th consecutive Test of which only one Test was not at flyhalf.
- Bismarck du Plessis shares the Springbok record for most tries in Tests as a hooker of five with James Dalton and John Smit.
- Pierre Spies is now South Africa’s most capped No 8 with 43 Tests in this position. Pierre holds the record for most Test tries as a No 8. – seven.
- Jean de Villiers will become South Africa’s most capped Springbok centre with 59 caps in this position. Jean scored his 20th Test try for the Springboks last Saturday in Durban.
- Francois Steyn is the only player that has played in all eight consecutive wins against England and, together with Bryan Habana, the only other player in the squad with nine Test caps against England.
- Springbok career record holders at Coca-Cola Park are: Percy Montgomery – 86 points and 18 penalty goals; Chester Williams – eight tries; Butch James – 12 conversions; Joel Stransky and Jannie de Beer – two drop goals each.
- Springbok Test match record holders at Coca-Cola Park are: Gavin Johnson – 28 points; Chester Williams and Jongi Nokwe – four tries each; Butch James – nine conversions; Percy Montgomery and Louis Koen – six penalty goals each; Joel Stransky and Jannie de Beer – two drop goals each.
- The first successful penalty goal by South Africa in this Test will be the 800th Test penalty goal in Springbok history.
- Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis will play together in their record 22nd Test as brothers.
15:50 - Here is what Lida van Bosch had to say on facebook: "This mornings 2 games showed that the Ausies and NZ r not as good as everybody thinks. Last week Craig Joubert let a lot of forward passes by Australia slide. The Springboks r the best rugby team ever & they don't have 2 back down 4 any other team. We play superior, clean rugby. We r the actual World Champions" Let us know what you think on facebook.com/supersportrugby or using #ssrugby on twitter.
16:00 - Beeld's Pieter Jordaan is never shy to give his opinion. Here is what expects to happen today:
16:10 - We have less than an hour to go before kickoff and the stdium is slowly filling up. It seems to be mostly gree-and-gold here today, with only a smattering of white to be seen here and there. Quit different from when the Lions played at this venue in 2009. Both sides are on the pitch currently, warming up for this vital encounter. It's cooled down considerably since we started this article, but there is still no breeze anywhere.
16:20 - Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has been quite forthright in what the Boks hope to achieve under new coach heyneke Meyer. Top of the list is to make the Republic a fortress for the Boks. Here he is:
16:30 - Half-an-hour until kickoff and the on-field entertainment is in full swing. A couple of pavement braais seem to have gone on a little too long with massive queues forming outside the gates. The teams are exiting the field now for final strapping before the action starts.
16:45 - Ok, 15 minutes left and the atmosphere is really starting to pick up. The stadium is joining Pieter Koen in a hearty rendition of "Have you ever seen the rain". Perfect warm-up for the anthems that are about to sung.
16:55 - Time for the anthems. First a minute of silence, and the onto the action. We're moving on to the match commentary facility (links above). Please join us on facebook after the match for live quotes from the two press conferences. Go Bokke!