What the Irish newspapers are saying on Sunday about the Test against the Springboks.
The Sunday Times, Sunday Independent and the Irish Mail on Sunday have all acknowledged Ireland’s record-breaking 38-3 win against South Africa on their respective front pages.
‘Sad South Africans slide from superpower to also-rans’ is the title of Neil Francis’ column in the Independent.
Francis says that South Africa ‘were clueless to the point of being lamentable.The limited nature of their game will rubber-stamp their descent into becoming a minor nation … any South African watching the performance would have preferred a week of waterboarding.’
Francis believes that France and Wales will beat the Boks in the coming weeks, and that Italy could cause another upset.
‘The South African side will not get any better under their current management ticket. What sort of risk is Rassie Erasmus taking with his career [by taking up the SA Rugby director of rugby position]?
‘Elton Jantjies is a talented player, but after 20 games at Test level it has been proven conclusively that he cannot manage a game for the Springboks.’
Francis feels that World Rugby will give South Africa the rights to host the 2023 World Cup because ‘if they don’t host it, the lights will go out for rugby in the country.’
‘Record-breakers,’ screams the headline on the front of the sport section of the Times. Inside, Peter O’Reilly says that while Ireland made a statement, the fixture was ‘never that entrancing.
‘The Boks were simply too clueless and lacking in accuracy or subtlety … for the Irish players you suspect that winning the physical battle will be the most pleasing part – especially for those players who have been around long enough to remember the way the Boks bullied them here five years ago.’
Former Ireland wing Shane Horgan didn’t mince his words.
‘South Africa were pathetic,’ he wrote in a column for the Times. ‘Tactically they were all at sea. It was like they hadn’t done any analysis on the way Ireland play. Their level of physical commitment wasn’t anywhere near where it should have been.
‘In the past there was a nagging doubt that if they bring that massive physicality to the game they could beat us up. That’s simply not the case anymore.’
‘Get back in your Boks!’ is the headline on the back page of the Mail. The paper goes on to say that Ireland have delivered a 2019 World Cup message to the ‘sorry South Africans.’
‘Schmidt lands a heavy blow,’ writes Liam Heagney. Like his colleagues, Heagney can’t believe that Erasmus is leaving Munster to take up a post with a side in such patent disarray.
‘We knew they were bad, just not this bad,’ he begins. ‘They really stank the joint out with their spiritless display.
‘Ireland landed a considerable psychological blow 23 months out from a potential quarter-final rematch at the Japan World Cup.’
Compiled by Jon Cardinelli in Dublin