LONDON, Nov 3 (Reuters) - England’s new-look side delivered a performance full of character to withstand an early South African onslaught and come back to win 12-11 with four Owen Farrell penalties in their opening November test at Twickenham on Saturday.
South Africa led 8-6 at halftime via a try for winger Sibusio Nkosi but they should have been much further ahead as England showed nothing at all in attack but stayed in range with two Farrell penalties.
England were transformed in the second half, with their backs finally getting the ball in hand, but it was their pack, missing a host of first-choice players, who delivered the key blow by shoving the Springbok pack backwards near their own line to win a penalty that Farrell slotted for the 12-11 lead.
Flyhalf Handre Pollard had the chance to win it for South Africa with another long-range penalty three minutes from time but his effort skimmed off the outside of the post. (Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Martyn Herman)