Ireland stun clueless Boks

Paddy Jackson scored 16 points to steer a 14-man Ireland side to a 26-20 win against the Springboks on Saturday, reports JON CARDINELLI at Newlands.

Joe Schmidt’s Ireland have made history. The result at Newlands marks Ireland’s first victory against the Boks on South African soil. They played the game with 14 men for as many as 47 minutes, and had enough petrol in the tank to beat the Boks to the finish line.

For an extra ten-minute spell, Ireland were reduced to 13 men. Even with that significant disadvantage, the visitors still managed to bully and breach the hosts with ease. In fact, they scored three points during that period.

It was an insipid and largely rudderless display by the South Africans. While Ireland have made history for the right reasons, the Boks have made history for the wrong ones. They have also begun the new era under head coach Allister Coetzee with a shocking loss.

For the Boks, the match was a disaster from start to finish. Ireland fullback Jared Payne latched onto a Luke Henshaw grubber and scored after 12 minutes. Following that try, referee Mathieu Raynal sent Lood de Jager to the sin bin after the Boks had committed a series of offences at the maul.

CJ Stander was red-carded in the 23rd minute for a challenge on Pat Lambie. As the Bok flyhalf was being stretchered from the field, Raynal gave Stander his marching orders.

That should have been the turning point for the hosts, the moment they took control of the contest. Surprisingly, it was Ireland who looked to play with more passion and control thereafter.

The Boks scored through Lwazi Mvovo in the 32nd minute, and Elton Jantjies added the extras. Ireland lost another player at this juncture, with Robbie Henshaw shown a yellow card for a cynical infringement.

Again, this was an opportunity for the Boks to take control. And again, it was the visitors who showed more initiative. Ireland made their way downfield, and Jackson nailed a drop goal to level the scores right before half-time.

The Boks would have been favourites to finish strongly in the second half. But when Ireland scored through Conor Murray in the 43rd minute, and Jackson added the extras, the Boks started to panic. Ireland had scored three points while Henshaw was off the park. Even with 13 men, they were making life hard for the Boks.

Their defence was a feature throughout the contest. It served them well in the period leading up to the 60th minute. The Boks had several chances to score, but were turned over at the breakdown.

Jackson kicked a penalty goal in the 68th minute to stretch Ireland’s lead to 10 points. An intercept try by replacement lock Pieter-Steph du Toit gave the hosts some hope, but it was the depleted Ireland side that finished the game with more composure and physicality.

Jackson added a further three points in the 77th minute to all but clinch the result.

The Boks enjoyed one final assault after the hooter had sounded. JP Pietersen received the ball on the left wing, but was bundled into touch by several determined defenders.

It was a fitting end to the match, given the dominance of the Ireland defence and impotence of the Bok attack.

Springboks – Tries: Lwazi Mvovo, Pieter-Steph du Toit. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalties: Pat Lambie, Jantjies. 

Ireland – Tries: Jared Payne, Conor Murray. Conversions: Paddy Jackson (2). Penalties: Jackson (3). Drop goal: Jackson.

Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Trevor Nyakane,18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Jesse Kriel.

Ireland – 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Jack McGrath.
Subs: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Finlay Bealham, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Craig Gilroy.

Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images

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Jon Cardinelli