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South Africa were believed to be privately livid with Gardner's decision but, while it was precisely the kind of upright tackle World Rugby are attempting to outlaw, the absence of any contact with Esterhuizen's head has worked in Farrell's favour as a citing is only made if the incident is deemed worthy of a red card.

This is an altogether different England side to the one that was hastily trying to arrange a last-minute fixture against New Zealand this time past year. "What other teams in world sport do that?"

"You've got to believe you can beat them", Jones said.

While England's players offered more measured thoughts about the All Blacks, Jones resembled a miniature cat on hot tiles such was the enthusiasm he attempted to project.

It is set to be a contrasting sort of contest; New Zealand will be smarter and more clinical than the Boks unless England cut them off at source. You've got to understand where they're weak, understand where they're strong and be disciplined in your game plan. We're a bloody good team.

But after several handling errors, South Africa's pressure told in the 33rd minute when, with left wing Aphiwe Dyantyi coming across to the opposite flank to keep England fullback Daly occupied, quick and smooth passing allowed Nkosi to scamper in at the corner for a try.

Underpinning it all, too, will be England's rising sense they are not that far away from taking a giant leap.

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On that same note, if just the last two four-point losses had been flipped, the Lakers would be on a five-game winning streak now .

"The belief you get from winning those tight games is enormous".

Mark Wilson (No 8): 'It was great Owen put a massive shot in and it was a perfectly legal shot in my eyes, and it was a big moment that won us the game'. He pictures the All Blacks sat in their plush Teddington hotel, eating scones, drinking tea and talking about how they will knock over England on Saturday: "They'll be confident and we can't wait to get them", Jones said. "Nothing has changed, mate". The most glaring came when England were down to 14 men, with Maro Itoje in the sin-bin, and defending a South Africa lineout five metres out which Marx proceeded to overthrow.

A video of the 33-year-old went viral on social media last night with him slurring his words and mumbling complete gibberish when speaking alongside England rugby legend Will Greenwood. "I don't think any team is unbeatable".

"I don't understand this guys". If you lose a game like that, it's harder to pick the players up.

England coach Eddie Jones was a bit apprehensive during the TMO review but called the hit a "good solid tackle". If the game is serious about reducing tackle height a penalty should have been awarded but fortune, on this occasion, favoured the fearless.

England's Owen Farrell, Danny Care and Henry Slade celebrate their victory over South Africa on Saturday.