England claimed an ultimately convincing 57-31 win over South Africa Barbarians North on Tuesday in their penultimate game on their rugby union tour.
The tourists replied to an early score against them to overpower the Barbarians eight tries to four as fullback Nick Abendanon scored a hat-trick in the first half and tour replacement Jonny May grabbed two in the second.
Barbarians center Joubert Engelbrecht broke down the left wing and outpaced Abendanon early on for the opening try.
However, the English, who surrendered the Test series to South Africa last weekend, replied with three by South Africa-born Abendanon and one from No. 8 Ben Morgan in a 17-minute burst in the first 40.
May and center Anthony Allen scored in the second, while England was also awarded a penalty try in the last minute at Profert Olen Park to complete victory in both midweek games against South Africa’s Barbarians selections.
Flyhalf Charlie Hodgson converted seven out of the eight tries and landed an early penalty for 17 points.
Scrumhalf Shaun Venter, with a double, and wing Deon Scholtz were the other try-scorers for the Barbarians team, who were made up of players from some of South Africa’s second-tier Vodacom Cup teams.
England complete the tour with a third Test against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth on Saturday after having lost the first two to lose the series.
Abendanon and May, who both joined England’s squad as replacements for injured players, shone as Stuart Lancaster’s second-stringers shrugged off another slow start to win comfortably.
The only negative for England was an injury to returning wing Ugo Monye, who left the field on a stretcher after a blow to the head in the 27th minute.
Engelbrecht crossed in the left corner in the 15th for a 10-3 lead for the South Africans in the university city of Potchefstroom in northwest South Africa.
However, Abendanon was put clear by wing Christian Wade four minutes later and Morgan barged over in the 24th to give England a lead it retained for the rest of the game.
Monye appeared to be knocked unconscious when attempting a tackle on Venter soon after Morgan’s score and needed lengthy treatment before being carried off.
Abendanon then grabbed two more touch downs in the 32nd and 36th minutes to take England to a 31-10 halftime lead.
The tricky Venter went over twice in a three-minute spell from the 53rd and fullback J.C. Roos added conversions to put the Barbarians in range early in the second.
However, May impressed off the bench with his brace of tries and England finished strongly when Allen burrowed over from close range five minutes from the end and referee Mark Lawrence awarded the penalty try in the 80th. In between, Scholtz broke away for the Barbarians’ fourth.
England were to travel to Port Elizabeth on the south coast yesterday ahead of the final Test in the three-match series this weekend, when hooker Dylan Hartley will captain the team in place of injured flanker Chris Robshaw.