England fans fume at Eddie Jones after witnessing South Africa collapse

England head coach Jones involved in tunnel altercation

"Tactically, I got it wrong and that surprised the team", Erasmus said.

His reign began with back-to-back Six Nations triumphs in 2016 and 2017, including a Grand Slam in his first campaign, but Ireland deposed them as champions this year and they suffered defeats against Scotland, France, Ireland and the Barbarians before they set off for a three-Test series against South Africa this month.

Saracens' Maro Itoje and Leicester Tigers' Jonny May both scored tries late on but South Africa managed to hold on and complete an wonderful turnaround. "We were almost very, very good, so hopefully we can string a few things together and get that 80 minute performance next week".

Pollard added another penalty but May scored a stunning try with two minutes to go, cutting in from the right and sprinting clear.

Both teams scored five tries, while South Africa flyhalf Handre Pollard kicked 17 points, punishing England in the second half for its high penalty count and kicking a final penalty four minutes from fulltime that was ultimately enough to get South Africa home.

Still, we will have to try a few things next week and we will have to make big calls going forward, which probably means we'll lose some matches, but we have to get players exposed to Test rugby and see if they have what it takes to make it at this level.

'The way we played in the first 20 minutes is the way we want to play all the time.

He praised the senior players around him for helping pull South Africa together after the disastrous start: "We took charge and told the guys to calm down".

South Africa England Rugby
England’s Brad Shields and Ben Youngs are dejected after South Africa’s victory

Today, Siya Kolisi will follow in Madiba's footsteps down the same tunnel to lead the Springboks into a new dawn.

England's Mike Brown scores a try during the first test against South Africa, at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

From George Ford's poor kicking to Maro Itoje's concession of too many penalties to Elliot Daly's kick out over the end line, and the forwards' inability to get any sort of foothold, the Red Rose wilted as the game progressed.

"There were a lot of young guys involved against a very experienced England side and it could have gone really badly for us", Erasmus said.

The dream debut continued when he popped up on the opposite wing after a clever run from Le Roux created the space for fellow debutant Aphiwe Dyantyi to send him over.

Kiwi-born flanker, Hurricanes captain Brad Shields, endured a rough start to his worldwide career for England.

It was the ideal outcome to celebrate a landmark moment in South African history after back row Siya Kolisi had become the first black captain of their Test team.

England finished the stronger of the sides as Itoje stretched over the ruck to reduce South Africa's lead to 39-32 and then May ran though the home defence to leave the Boks three points ahead with one minute left.

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