Anybody with even the remotest curiosity in Pool B would have pencilled on this conflict a while in the past: defending World Champs and all-round enforcers the Springboks up towards the No. 1 ranked facet and debatable match favourites Eire. Each got here into the match having earned two wins apiece, with Eire edging the Boks into the highest pool spot courtesy of two four-try bonus factors to 1.
Each side are have been at this stage all however assured development to the quarters, however this was no useless rubber. Actually there’s bragging rights and maybe a slightly extra beneficial (?) quarterfinal draw towards the Pool A runners-up (at the moment Italy, however probably New Zealand) to play for. However greater than that, this was an opportunity for 2 sides tipped to go all the best way to realize an early psychological edge. Neither would wish to give an excessive amount of away, however victory right here will stand one in good stead ought to they meet once more within the ultimate.
Two kind of full-strength (so far as out there) line-ups have been named. The Bokkies, taking a day without work from drowning puppies, doubled-down on the morally outrageous 7-1 bench break up. Given their historic upfront dominance, and understanding backs by no means get drained (standing about aimlessly, as they do, for a lot of the match), South Africa have been clearly counting on the notorious bomb squad to bash, recycle, and bash once more the Irish pack into submission.
It fell, subsequently, to the pure because the pushed snow Paddies (led by the famously righteous and serene Jonathan Sexton) to combat the nice combat for the soul of rugby. Scrum-half Jamie Gibson-Park was the one change to the beginning XV from Eire’s earlier match towards Tonga, pushing Connor Murray to the bench. Peter O’Mahony (100) and Bundee Aki (50) would carry up milestones.
Each side started the match keen to run and take a look at out the defensive fringes. Curiously, Eire spurned the chance for first factors, Sexton opting as an alternative to kick for the nook. A misfiring lineout would merciless their probability not solely then however repeatedly all through the primary half.
It was the Bokkies who drew first blood from the boot of Manie Libbok, and his penalty purpose remained the one occasion to bother the scorers for a while as the sport settled into an exquisite stream of cut-and-riposte. The centre pairings for either side have been significantly incisive, threatening to blow the road open on a number of events. It was solely becoming, then, that Bundee Aki’s huge 55 metre break set Eire as much as open their account within the thirty third minute, finally discovering Mack Hansen on the proper wing for a 5 pointer. Sexton’s profitable conversion consolidated the Paddies’ halftime lead.
As they did towards Scotland, the Bok pack got here out of the sheds trying to lay down the legislation. A scrum penalty put them in place to ship Cheslin Kolbe over within the 51st minute, briefly taking the lead. However not like the poor Jocks, Eire managed to take in the hits and preserve some management over proceedings, steadying on the lineout and starting to regain parity on the scrum – Sexton taking benefit to retake the lead approaching the final 20 minutes.
South Africa continued to assault manfully, however the passes weren’t sticking and instantly they confronted lineout malfunctions of their very own. Alternative Irish flyhalf Jack Crowley kicked one other penalty to place lead past three factors, however you sensed the match was nonetheless there for the taking. Certainly, a final ditch lineout 10 metres out provided the Springboks an opportunity to steal it on the dying. However as soon as once more the lads in inexperienced gave pretty much as good as they bought, defusing the maul and trapping the ball to let Ben O’Keefe blow full time on a improbable match.
The Recreation Changer
A interval across the 50-60 minute mark noticed South Africa miss 4 difficult however very gettable makes an attempt at purpose, each Libbok and Faf de Klerk responsible of lacking their targets. The Springboks took a slender lead at this level, however 11 factors neglected on the park meant they did not take the sport away from Eire, and their interval of ahead dominance achieved minimal pay. Finally this appeared to frustrate the Boks who, whereas not fully falling aside, did begin to lose fluency because the Irish wrestled again the initiative.
The Man of the Match/Standout Participant
For the Springboks, de Allende, Kriel and Willemse have been enterprising within the backline, whereas Franco Mostert was glorious and key to disrupting the Irish lineout early.
For Eire the pack held their very own early however struggled to recover from the gainline at occasions. Wingers Hansen and James Low in the meantime stood up on the defensive edges and ensured the Bok assault got here to nothing extra usually then not. Bundee Aki although, named the official man of the match, must be my choose additionally – robust in defence and on the carry all night time, and significantly vital to Eire’s solely attempt of the match.
SOUTH AFRICA 8
Tries: Cheslin Kolbe (51′)
Penalties: Manie Libbok (6′)
Tries: Mack Hansen (33′)
Conversions: Johnny Sexton (35′)
Penalties: Johnny Sexton (59′), Jack Crowley (77′)