Five great Springbok wins at Twickenham

Pat Lambie of South Africa in action during the international match between Italy v South Africa at Stadio Olimpico on November 19, 2016 in Rome, Italy.
Pat Lambie of South Africa in action during the international match between Italy v South Africa at Stadio Olimpico on November 19, 2016 in Rome, Italy.
Image: Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

In the 21 matches the Springboks have played against England at Twickenham‚ the venue for Saturday's 42nd encounter between the sides‚ they've won 11 times.

However there were times when the Boks struggled in London.

Here are five matches where the Springboks left the venerable stadium attendees in no doubt as to who was the better side.

1) England 11 – 29 South Africa - November 29‚ 1997

This win‚ engineered by a superb forward display and an electrifying performance at 13 by Andre Snyman‚ was the fifth in South Africa's 17 match unbeaten streak that was snapped by England a year later.

1997 was a particularly difficult year for the Boks under Carel du Plessis‚ who not only lost South Africa's first British and Irish Lions' series since 1974‚ but also won only one out of four Tri-Nations matches.

The Boks though were in bristling form under Nick Mallett on this tour.

Italy and France were unceremoniously brushed aside before this meeting but England took an early 11-0 lead through two Mike Catt penalties and a Nick Greenstock try.

England though were unable to resist the green wave as tries from Mark Andrews‚ Snyman‚ Adrian Garvey and Werner Swanepoel gave South Africa their second consecutive Twickenham win after their 24-14 win two years before.

It wasn't known then‚ but this was going to be South Africa's last Twickenham win in nine years.

2) England 14 - 25 South Africa - November 25‚ 2006

By the time this second Test of this tour came round‚ the Boks had long lost the ability to win in London.

The week before‚ they contrived to lose an eminently winnable Test that.

That heaped pressure on Jake White‚ who's 2006 had gone pear shaped after defeats to New Zealand (two)‚ Australia (two)‚ France‚ Ireland and England.

His job was on the line but Andre Pretorius‚ who played in the record 53-3 hammering four years before‚ found his range with a 20-point haul that finally pushed the Boks past the mental barrier.

After the previous week's heartbreaking 23-21 loss to the same side at the same ground‚ the final building blocks for the successful 2007 Rugby World Cup assault were laid. England were to bear the brunt of the Boks' pent-up frustration with four consecutive defeats in one calendar year.

3) England 6 – 42 South Africa – November 22‚ 2008

Over the course of 2007 and 2008‚ the Springboks exerted a dominance over England that was unparalleled and striking‚ considering how the Martin Johnson/Sir Clive Woodward axis had the wood over the Boks.

In the five matches the sides met in after the November 25 Test in 2006‚ England were not only subjected to two 50-point defeats in Bloemfontein and Pretoria‚ but they were kept tryless in three.

While the 36-0 win in the 2007 Rugby World Cup group game entrenched the Boks' dominance‚ this 36-point win all but sewed up the already existing hegemony.

By this point‚ the Boks under Peter de Villiers had not only found their range after a wobbly Tri-Nations‚ but looked every bit like World Champions.

However‚ leading into this game‚ the Boks were far from convincing in wins against Wales (20-15) and Scotland (14-10).

England though were confronted by a runaway Bok train that not only scored five tries through Jacques Fourie‚ Bryan Habana‚ Adrian Jacob‚ Ruan Pienaar and Danie Rossouw‚ but left plenty of points on the park.

Oddly‚ the England side was coached by 2003 World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson‚ who oversaw some Bok crushings as a player.

4) England 11 – 21 South Africa - November 27‚ 2010

The Boks had a tricky 2010‚ especially with New Zealand and Australia gaining come-uppance after the Boks' 2009 domination.

The Northern Hemisphere sides had also lined up Peter de Villiers' side and the Boks had a narrow 23-21 and 29-25 escapes against Ireland and England respectively before a 21-17 loss against Scotland grounded them.

This win against England was their most comfortable of the tour as tries from Lwazi Mvovo and Willem Alberts kept a limited England side at by.

Morne Steyn entrenched the forwards' dominance with a 11-point contribution from the boot as South Africa's Twickenham dominance continued unabated.

5) England 28 – 31 South Africa - November 15‚ 2014

This win was South Africa's 11th in 12 outings against England since 2006‚ but that gave a glimpse of an increasing Springbok vulnerability.

This Stuart Lancaster-coached side weren't in the best of form‚ but Heyneke Meyer's Boks were still a bridge too far for them.

Pat Lambie probably had his best Test in a Bok jumper with a 16-point haul.

There were tries from Jan Serfontein‚ Cobus Reinach and Schalk Burger but England packed their own punched through Owen Farrell‚ Ben Morgan and David Wilson.

Farrell‚ who captained the England side during their tour this year‚ was a star on the rise at the time and is now an integral part of Eddie Jones's team.

Morgan hasn't featured much in Jones's tenure due to Billy Vunipola's imposing presence but is back in the squad to provide the sustained physical punch that was missing in June.

This win remains the Boks' last at Twickenham.

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