England in SA

Abendanon: Wedding & 3 tries

2012-06-20 08:06
Nick Abendanon (File)

Potchefstroom - Nick Abendanon came to South Africa for a wedding and stayed on to score a hat-trick of tries as England triumphed 57-31 against the Northern SA Barbarians on Tuesday.

The fullback also played a key role in two other tries among the seven scored by the visitors, who finished strongly after the Barbarians trimmed a 31-10 half-time deficit to just seven points.

Bath-based Abendanon, born in Johannesburg 25 years ago, flew to South Africa this month for a wedding and was then called up by coach Stuart Lancaster when injured Mike Brown had to return home.

The official man of the match at chilly Olen Park played down his 15-point contribution later, saying his team-mates made it easy for him.

"I got good help for my tries and I thought Jonny May was outstanding when he replaced Ugo (Monye). Hopefully a few of the team are going to push for Test places this weekend," said Abendanon.

A second consecutive midweek win for England over a Barbarians selection was marred by a first-half injury to left wing Monye, making his first appearance on the five-match tour after recovering from a hamstring problem.

The 29-year-old British and Irish Lion was carried off in a neck brace after eight minutes of treatment and taken to a local hospital for a precautionary scan.

"Ugo was knocked out during the tackle. He was taken to hospital but has come round and is fine, although a bit groggy," England head coach Stuart Lancaster told reporters.

"I have just had a medical update, but I think he will be travelling back with us. He will go through the concussion protocols and will struggle to be fit for (the third Test on) Saturday."

"It was a really physical game," admitted England captain and lock George Robson, "and a real pleasure to come over here and play. The game could have gone either way until Jonny (May) scored those tries."

England complete the tour with a third and final Test against the Springboks at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth Saturday, hoping to avoid a whitewash after losing 22-17 in Durban and 36-27 in Johannesburg.

Read more on:    england in sa  |  rugby


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