The next time the Springboks and Ireland meet will be at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, so Andy Farrell is cautious about reading too much into Saturday’s win over the world champions.
A late Johnny Sexton penalty gave Ireland a big enough buffer to deny the Boks a comeback victory as the world’s top-ranked team claimed a tense 19-16 victory in Dublin.
South Africa and Ireland will face off in the pool stages at France 2023, and asked post-match what it meant for Ireland to land a pre-World Cup blow on the world champs, Farrell told reporters: “We are miles off it, there are so many things and permutations that can happen along the way.
“South Africa are good for that, getting their timing right for a World Cup.
“It is a good start to the season, it was good to play them after five years and to see the pressure they throw at us,” the coach added.
Meanwhile, skipper Johnny Sexton said beating the world champs was “right up there” with other memorable victories, but he wants trophies to round off his career.
The victory for the world’s No 1-ranked team comes on the back of the historic series win in New Zealand in July.
“It is obviously right up there,” the 2018 World Player of the Year Sexton said of the win at the Aviva Stadium.
“We did not play our best rugby but the very pleasing thing is maybe a couple of years ago we might have crumbled.
“We are building well, but we want trophies. The Triple Crown last season was very pleasing but we are talking about a Six Nations Grand Slam and a World Cup.
“That is key as we have not done that yet and hopefully we are building towards that.”