South Africa: The Beast Will Always Be Remembered As a Tormentor of Englishmen


While most of the rugby world expressed sadness that Tendai 'the Beast' Mtawarira called time on his international career this week, a generation of England tighthead props probably don't share the same wistful feelings.

The Beast ruined England tighthead Phil Vickery's international career on a sunny June Durban afternoon in 2009, scrumming the West Country hard man all over King's Park. That was the first Test of the 2009 series against the British & Irish Lions and by winning four first-half scrum penalties, the Boks were on their way to winning the Test and eventually the series.

Fast forward a decade and it was Mtawarira's emasculation of the England tighthead Dan Cole that led to another four first-half scrum penalties - out of six in total - as the Boks eviscerated England's pack on their way to a third world title.

Last Saturday, Cole's storied Test career in all likelihood ended in a crumpled heap after he ran into a fired-up Mtawarira in Yokohama. The Beast mauled Cole, a third-minute replacement for Kyle Sinckler, so badly, it's a wonder referee Jerome Garces didn't call for uncontested scrums on compassionate grounds.

Vickery and Cole will always be synonymous with the Beast,...

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