Boks spoil Irish homecoming

2010-11-06 21:20

Dublin - World champions South Africa spoilt Ireland's return to Lansdowne Road with a 23-21 victory on Saturday that kept alive hopes of a first Springbok Grand Slam in 50 years.

South Africa were seemingly out of sight at 23-9 in front mid-way through the second half after tries from Juan Smith and Gio Aplon before Ireland crossed the Springbok line courtesy of Tommy Bowe and Rob Kearney.

Full-back Kearney's score cut South Africa's lead to 23-21 with barely five minutes remaining.

It left fly-half Ronan O'Gara, who had come off the bench to win his 100th cap, with a tricky conversion to tie the scores.

But, from wide on the right, O'Gara's kick came back off the post and the Springboks, then a man down after Bryan Habana was yellow-carded, held on.

Playing much the more controlled rugby, South Africa's victory ended a run of three straight defeats by Ireland, all in Dublin, and gave coach Peter de Villiers some breathing space after a Tri-Nations where the Springboks lost five of their six matches.

However, a welter of substitutions in the final quarter almost turned the match on its head with Ireland coach Declan Kidney's decision to bring on O'Gara so nearly leading to a dramatic victory at a rain-lashed Lansdowne.

"We had a good lead and we defended it (but) you always worry, the game isn't won until it's over - we have learned this in the Tri Nations," De Villiers said.

South Africa dominated the lineout after stand-on captain Victor Matfield was reunited with Bakkies Botha, back from suspension, in the second row against an Ireland side without star lock Paul O'Connell.

"We have lost quite a few games in the last minute, particularly at home, so we've done well," Matfield said.

Just short of the hour mark, de Villiers took off the uninjured Morne Steyn to give a debut to 20-year-old Pat Lambie, man-of-the-match in the Sharks' Currie Cup final win over Western Province last weekend.

Ireland's game - their first at Lansdowne in four years following the ground's 410 million euros redevelopment - was littered with individual errors.

They tried to force the pace against a South Africa side who, playing the conditions better, used their forward strength to play with greater precision.

"Only the 30 guys who took the field had a real understanding as to how difficult conditions were out there," said Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll.

"That ball was like a bar of soap," added the centre after what was Ireland's fourth straight defeat.

"We were trying to play a little bit, whether that was the smart thing to do in those conditions."

Ireland were forced to make 18 tackles in the first five minutes and their discipline eventually gave way when they were caught offside.

Goalkicking ace Steyn made no mistake with the simple penalty.

And it was an Irish error that led to the game's first try when, from a line-out, flanker Smith intercepted scrum-half Eoin Reddan's blind pass and sprinted clear from fully 65 metres before sliding over in the 17th minute.

Fly-half Steyn made the seemingly difficult conversion from the right touchline look easy to extend South Africa's lead to 10-0.

An exchange of penalties ended with the Springboks 13-6 ahead at the interval.

Ireland made a mess of the restart but Steyn's world record run of 41 successful goalkicks in a row when he pushed the ensuing 45-metre penalty wide of the right post.

Meanwhile South Africa gained ground with the simple but effective ploy of powerful mauling and this led to a penalty that Steyn kicked from wide out on the right to extend South Africa's lead to 16-6.

Sexton kept the hosts in touch with his third penalty before de Villiers brought on Lambie.

The 20-year-old had a chance to nudge the Springboks further in front but was way off-target with a 35 metre penalty attempt.

"We were controlling the game, we don't know what's going to happen in the rest of the tour," said de Villiers ahead of next weekend's clash with Wales.

"The substitution that went against us was when O'Gara came on."

Minutes after Lambie's miss, the Springboks had a second try when centre Zane Kirchner's clever inside pass released Aplon to score under the posts in the 65th minute.

Cue the Irish rally, with O'Gara's clever kick over the South Africa defence allowing Bowe to regather and score under the posts before the stand-off converted.

Ireland laid siege to South Africa's line after O'Gara's kick downfield and the pressure told when Kearney went in at the corner to set up a tense finish.



Tries: Tommy Bowe, Rob Kearney
Penalties: Jonathan Sexton (3)
Conversion: Ronan O'Gara

South Africa:
Tries: Juan Smith, Gio Aplon
Penalties: Morne Steyn (3)
Conversions: Steyn, Patrick Lambie



15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 David Wallace, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Mick O'Driscoll, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy

Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Tom Court, 18 Donncha Ryan, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Peter Stringer, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Keith Earls

South Africa:
15 Gio Aplon, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 Zane Kirchner, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Adi Jacobs, 22 Pat Lambie


  • jk - 2010-11-06 21:24

    Two terrible teams playing a miserable match....Substitutions almost cost SA again... P De Villiers must be thanking his lucky stars for such terrible opponents...

  • Graham in London - 2010-11-06 21:26

    Well done Bok pack - especially the Beast and Bismarck

  • BC - 2010-11-06 21:27

    This result shows that SA are a side on the downwards slide. A very lucky win over a pretty average looking Irish side. SA obviously struggling to keep pace with th modern international game.

  • kjac - 2010-11-06 21:29

    Well done Div and the boys. There are definitely people back home that support you.

  • joe - 2010-11-06 21:29

    Where are you now Paddy???????Ireland at home in Irish conditions and they loose?Good fight Ireland,you never gave up.Showed very good character.Springboks,believed in you all the way!Shame on the Irish supporters who left with 20 mins to go!

  • bokkie - 2010-11-06 21:31

    how nervous was Lambie with that first kick though!

  • Bambie - 2010-11-06 21:32

    So....Bambie almost cost us a match with his sitter in front of the posts? BMT i guess not there yet...

  • @jk - 2010-11-06 21:37

    Couldn't agree more

  • Vukani - 2010-11-06 21:39

    Well done Boks. I can't say that I am not a bit deflated after the victory. Being 23-9 up with 15min to go and then to defend the win in the dying moments does not look like a team that will take the grand slam but who know. I think the pivotal moment was when Lambie replaced Steyn. Steyn was dictating the game and Lambie, a brilliant player in his own right, just did not have the same influence. Kirchner had a good game, a rare entity and the Beast was his destructive self. Bryan did not see much of the ball. I still rate him as a player but if you do not see the ball one tend to disappear into the game. Good luck against the Welch next week.

  • croix - 2010-11-06 21:40

    SABC TV broadcast a CLUB soccer game in full - SABC Radio stations did not even mention anything about the Rugby (a full international TEST match against Ireland) so from now on sirs, get the club soccer supporters to buy TV licences. You are clearly snubbing rugby supporters - so don't expect us to pay for soccer-only broadcasts...

  • bokkie - 2010-11-06 21:40

    Well done Boks.Not a bad match. We kept the ball well. Just need to use it a bit better. Our Forward pack dominated!! But how nervous was Lambie with that first kick though!

  • ai - 2010-11-06 21:42

    Agree JK. Compared to the AB game....the proteas will not retain the RWC. Its a waste of time to watch the proteas play...need to get the coaching team changed...

  • pdw - 2010-11-06 21:42

    Fully agree. Our pack look solid, but that backline gives me the horries.I'd like to see Lambie play off the bench a bit more, and Zane packed in a suitcase, and Gio on fullback isn't the safest, tough bliksem he is!

  • Theo - 2010-11-06 21:42

    Australia and Wales average. New Zealand its usual overrated self and the signs of the decline are there. Sonny Bill Williams has nice tattoos. Bok forwards reign supreme in rugby. And Nigel Williams, the little Welsh referee, got excited in the last 10 minutes but couldn't put up a winning score for Ireland.

  • mike - 2010-11-06 21:43

    Awesome pack of forwards, by far the best out of the 2 games I watched, the other was NZ Engalnd. backs from 11 to 15 where poor but man oh man that pack was incredible. There are only 2 players who could get into that pack playing the way they did today. Those being Brussouw and Gunthro but they would have to do something special. Div messed up the subs again as always, Morne should of stayed on and Lambie should of come on at fullback, Aplon was by far the worse SA player on the park. Div needs to realise if you want to play him the only place is wing. Positional play was aweful and cost us.

  • durbsguy - 2010-11-06 21:44

    Can Kirchner drop himself for the game next week?

  • @jk - 2010-11-06 21:44

    Dude time to watch the game and not just run your mouth off. Did you notice the rain or where you expecting a high paced running game in soaking wet conditions?

  • BokFanZA - 2010-11-06 21:45

    @jk - Give it up, considering the boks have been decimated by injuries and only had a weeks training together they did damn well. The subs were all adequate replacements. A win is a win. The conditions were awful and the Boks still shone through. There are no remarks columns in the statistics books. well done boks, Grinding out a win. It can only get better from here.

  • Syrup - 2010-11-06 21:45

    The difference was 20 points. The forwards were goood , specifically the tight five. Pienaar was out of depth and Steyn not in form . Habana's shelf live has expired and must now retire ! !!

  • Cire - 2010-11-06 21:46


  • Joe - 2010-11-06 21:47

    Great performance by the Boks especially the forwards.. @ jk you obviouly wanted SA to lose and say "I told you so..." What did you expect a game of running rugby on a wet Lansdowne road?

  • richard - 2010-11-06 21:47

    make two major substitutions a couple of minutes apart. Without letting the other one settle in first. He makes me blind with rage.

  • Malema - 2010-11-06 21:47

    Drop Habana and Kirchner

  • Brendan - 2010-11-06 21:48

    A win's a win. Well done Bokke!!!

  • Des - 2010-11-06 21:51

    Imagine what we could do if we had a coach !

  • beste kometaar - 2010-11-06 21:54

    Kritiek, nie lof vir die span. 'n Wen is 'n wen, voor jul my aanvat. Maar die bokke was nie die beste span nie, dit was 50/50. Dit was nie die All Blacks of Aussies, dit was Ierland!!!!!! Mens verwag baie beter, ek verstaan, dat van die manne nog beseer is, maar om op Aplon, Kirchner in die agterlyn staat te maak, is soos om op landlyn internet staat te maak of Eskom. Dit kan enige oomlik jou in die donker los. As al die fokus nou op die Werled Beker is, jammer, die spel gaan ons nie daar bring, ons was baie gelukig met Juan Smith se drie, onderskep drie is nie om oor huis toe te skryf, ja, dit laat jou lekker kry, maar dit was die verskil as jy mooi dink aan die telling. Weereens ja wen is 'n wen, maar nie so teen Ierland, mens verwag teen hul as jy bok is ten minste telling teen hul met 7 punte verskil. Lambie was 'n verskil, en O Gara aan Ierland ook. Mattfield en Bakkies was weereens net daar, hul ouderdom tel steeds teen hulle, net bly J Smit en Januarie was nie daar, anders was die telling anders. Die bokke het meer kritiek nodig nou, ek sal hul nie lof en prys vir die vertoning vanaand. Die voorspelers was redelik goed, en agterlyn is 'n grap, groot grap en nie op werled standaard. Die kombinasie van voor en agter seleksie het die span opgeweeg, die voorspeler het my laat glo ons kan wen, agterlyn, jammer, en Smurf, jy gaan 2 uit 5 wen op die toer met hierdie vertoning. Sluk dit met bietjie soet mos en maak jou tong los, en praat!

  • Beaver - 2010-11-06 21:54

    Im an AB supporter, currently being harassed by my fellow countryman to support S.A, yet before this end of year tour started i've been more of a S.A supporter than all of the so called never die fans. The whole week, evryone has been badmouthing the boks and the coaches and now that they win, instead of apologies, they actually justify themselves by calling the irish weak, and its not the subs that cost S.A the game unless i was watchin a diiferent game. Well done Boks and coaches, and all you so called S.A fans get a life and start watching rugby with your eyes, or get another team to support. You all negative

  • Paul - 2010-11-06 21:55

    The Irish rugby team has learnt from the Irish Government very well and making Ireland the laughing stock of the workd...and rightfully so.

  • Madala - 2010-11-06 21:56

    For the sake of rugby (and my health) please get rid of that joke of a rugby coach and embarrasment to SA (de Villiers). How many clowns do we need to put this Country to shame? Zuma, Malema, Yengeni (there's 65 more in the Cabinet) Casper de Vries, and some other "artists". Then Kirsner, Jacobs and some others who should have faked injuries because we all know you should not be over there.

  • BokFanZA - 2010-11-06 21:57

    @Bambie - Guess you've played at the highest level then huh. Lambie may have missed the kick but in those conditions anything could happen. Lambie showed up Steyn with his slicker handling and keeping the ball in hand. the old 10 man game is a thing of the past. And to all those dissing the boks, get a life, a win is a win is a win. Things can onky get better. Stop being so negative and cynical you chops!

  • Mike JJ - 2010-11-06 21:58

    Bokke were a lot mote impressive than most thought ! GR8 !

  • Mark - 2010-11-06 22:00

    Hmmmm - not a helluva lot to get excited about re the result, the team selections or players out of position. Div back to being the clown - with Gold and Muir providing the big top for the circus ! A VERT AVERAGE Irish team - and we managed to get out of jail !

  • roger - 2010-11-06 22:01

    Boks must learn not to take the foot off the Gas! Subs need to be done when really required not willy-nilly!! The real test will be against England.

  • Wd - 2010-11-06 22:03

    When did bryan get yellow carded? Must have been watching the wrong game.

  • Mark - 2010-11-06 22:06

    We South Africans are full of it. We are too concerned about the coach, colour of skins and all the rest of the political crap. When we lose we blame the coach the quota system and the ref. We never give our opponents the praise for being better than us. Today we won a game which over 90% of people said we would lose and still we are negative. We won a game away from home for freck sake!!!! What a bunch of bumholes we are.

  • Bok Fan - 2010-11-06 22:06

    @Bambie You must be a WP supporter. Apart from that kick he played well and carried well. Guess winning a Currie cup final isn't BMT but he will be a player of future so rather back whoever is green and be a true supporter.

  • George - 2010-11-06 22:08

    The Boks could have done a 50 pointer, but typically started relaxing after the first half. I think they got a wake up call with the clear injection O'Gara brought to the game. Unfortunately the Boks never can gain the leadership on the field when they dropped it. All in all, a solid performance from the Boks, nothing spectacular, no injuries, cruising, no yellow cards, no red cards, good tour started, good practise, a win...... good game.

  • saki - 2010-11-06 22:12

    yes DES, imagine how great we can be with a real coach, and no political interference

  • Peter the Pumpkin Eater - 2010-11-06 22:15

    The forwards held this game together well done!!! AND why bring Stegmann off? When Stegmann came off the backrow was disrupted, and we conceded territory and two quick tries.

  • George - 2010-11-06 22:15

    Funny to see all the comments and honestly, the typical ignorant, negative, brandewyn and coke Bulls type comments. There's not one single person in particular that had a bad game in total or one that stood out from the rest, which is good. The guys played as a unit and that's a superb starting point on tour!!! Beast, Pienaar, Steyn and Victor had good games, but on several occasions we missed a ball-getter like Brussouw - would've given us a couple more balls, although the Irish were very quick at the rucks. My opinion - man of the match goes to the Irish coach for not putting O'Gara on the field from the start...

  • Bok Lover - 2010-11-06 22:20

    To all the negative pin heads and just in general kak praters. Get a life. How many of you have played rugby for the Boks. No I bet half of you didnt make the 4th team in ST 2. I am just sick and tired of your racist rants. The ANC is in charge. They govern and have done an exellent job. Pieter is in charge and so far have done a better job than Jake. Give him respect instead of your wining wining wining. Bunch of cry babies. Go suck your mothers you know what.

  • marco - 2010-11-06 22:21

    Let's hope the IRB citing commisioner is just as enthusiatic in penalizing Keven Mealamu for his headbutting of Lewis Moody today as they were with Bakkies Botha on Jimmy Cowan.It has been coming and the Irish got what they've deserved for a long while which is 'n good klap op hulle b***e.Nice work Springboks

  • Wouter - 2010-11-06 22:21

    Agree with: JK, BC, Vukani, ai, durbsguy, Des, Madala. Please not, Mattffield and Bakkies, are way to old, they can be glad they had youngster in the first 8, and what a pack, but still the weakest link there is Mattfield and Bakkies. Pienaar was ok this time, but the rest of backline, is a Smurf Wetdream.

  • Boeta Nev - 2010-11-06 22:26

    @ai and yet you watched the game as you will next week @beste kommentaar dink jy moet begin sokker kyk want van rugby weet jy baie min and last but not least @ madala I think your mistaken about Casper ( he's actually white). Btw where's IZ IT and PDV/Quota-hater I guess it is now GO......Wales go......Scotland Go ............England go........Babarians....... LOL

  • denis - 2010-11-06 22:31

    Relieved that we won, brilliant perfomance from no's 1-9, but much closer than it should have been given our dominance up front. Fielding a center combination either of whom would be lucky to make a Currie cup bench in that position, against O'Driscoll and D'Arcy in the critical final 20 minutes of a game, and still scraping a win, must be some sort of record. As soon as Jean de Villiers went off the holes opened up. If we can sort out our midfield and fullback defensive vulnerability we could actually pull off the grand slam, but England will be making careful notes about where the Irish points came from. Is it too late to call up Strauss, or in fact any center who can make a Super 15 run-on side?

  • JJJJJEEEZZZ - 2010-11-06 22:31

    Whats with all the random subs again thought we are beyond that stage, you take your (pre Ireland game) 38/38 kicker off and put Lambie on while you trying to grind out a victory in the rain!?. Lambie is definitely the future but it was the wrong time to bring him on or at least he should have been brought on for Kischner who had a shocker no surprise! not all hes fault playing out of position. Victor was amazing in the line outs. Just so disappointed it rained cause our wings would have given them hell.

  • GJ - 2010-11-06 22:35

    Considering the injuries and the short time together...well done boys. All the bickering and bitching thats been going on bout the team selection and coaches...why don,t you all grow up and just support the Springboks for who they are and be proud Springbok suppporters. A win is a win no matter what and our youngersters did real good. Given time they will only improve. So to all you dooms day predictors....up yours and here,s a finger to swivel on

  • Obvious - 2010-11-06 22:51

    Our coach has no plan with substitutes. He again copied & pasted 7 names after 60 mins, for what? It was worth it to give Lambie a go, Morne didn't have his best game today. I thought Stegmann played well, why replace him? It doesn't matter what has been discussed beforehand, it's the game that dictates replacements. PDivvy must learn to watch the game & act on what is happening before him.

  • @Boeta Nev - 2010-11-06 22:54

    A are...the rugby force is not strong in you. Go listen to your Steve CD and leave it to the big boys to talk about the rugby. There has been no improvement since the Tri-Nations....kick the ball away...bash it up = game plan. Very little set moves, replacements at the wrong time, playing players out of position etc. Compare Abs and Aussie games to this one...and by the way...seems like you are fixated with soccer and other people's views...seems like you need some friends, mate. Wrong forum.

  • Tommygun - 2010-11-06 22:57

    Well done Boks. With this scratched together side and PDVs crazy sub decisions you proved me wrong. I read in an international rugby website where the leading paragragh in bold letters said Boks win despite numerious ref decisions that were baffling and kept the Irish in the game.