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South Africa targeted England in the breakdown and the line-out with great success, forcing ill-discipline from the home team, and it was telling that England gave away twelve penalties to their opponent’s four.
But England still went in level despite just 33% possession, with Toby Flood and Morne Steyn exchanging two penalties apiece.
If parity throughout the first period was fortunate - it was always likely that England would fall behind, and it came just before the hour following a line-out inside the England 22 metre-line.
The Springbok’s drive went infield then out, dragging the England line narrow enough for Alberts to squeeze through the try – Steyne unexpectedly missed the conversion.
England’s best period came in the ten minutes after conceding, but they couldn’t find the break-through.
On 65 minutes, Sale fly-half Charlie Hodgson, on for Flood, lifted a beautiful cross-field kick over the defensive line.
Mark Cueto claimed it wonderfully, but support didn’t arrive.
The rally eventually came to nothing, and the result was sealed with eleven minutes remaining when England were caught napping by Mvovo, who scored his first international try on only his second cap.
Expecting South Africa to work a drop goal for Steyne, Mvovo slipped through the line after a mistimed Simon Shaw tackle, and this time Steyne was on the mark.
There was consolation for the Twickenham faithful, though, as Foden intercepted deep in the England half and was able to sprint the ball unchallenged across the line.
But it was too late to be of any use, and Mike Tindall’s ill-advised decision to drop-kick the conversion and hitting the post from barely six yard was a far more accurate representation of England’s afternoon.