Irish, SA set for bitter 'war'

2009-11-27 09:19

Dublin - Six Nations Grand Slam champions Ireland take on world and Tri-Nations champions South Africa on Saturday in what is essentially a mini World Cup final two years away from the real thing in New Zealand.

However, if there needed to be any added spice to the fixture is that it will be the first time that the Springboks face a national side that includes several of the British and Irish Lions side that lost a bitterly fought series in the summer that South Africa won 2-1.

Irish defence coach Les Kiss was frank about what some of his players thoughts were on - namely settling scores after several dubious hits by Springboks on some of the Irish players during the series including Schalk Burger's gouging of Luke Fitzgerald, the latter will be absent through injury but the former will be starting.

"I'm sure there will be some personal things going around in their heads," said Kiss earlier this week.

"They will want to make this a special day for themselves and for Ireland," he added.

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers said that his side would not be looking for blood come Saturday as they endeavour to end their tour on a real high having lost three matches of their four including two against English Premiership sides.

"Well, I think the bad blood was only with you guys (the Irish)," he said on Monday.

"There was no bad blood with us. We were generous hosts who as we do always and invited the opposing players to our dressing room for a beer or two so the guys could mingle. They never accepted the invitation," added de Villiers, whose side are aiming to end a run of two successive defeats in Dublin.

One Irish player who would dearly loved to have had a chance to get his own back on the Springboks or at least a chance of redemption is the 93-times capped flyhalf Ronan O'Gara, who went from the man who won the Grand Slam for Ireland to the man who lost the Lions series by giving away a penalty in the dying minutes of the second Test.

However, his long-time coach at Munster and now Irish handler Declan Kidney has shown he is no prisoner to sentiment and left him on the bench and gone for the 24-year-old Jonathan Sexton, who has broken the run of O'Gara as he is the first person since David Humphreys in 2003 to play at flyhalf against a major Test nation.

"I know we have a world class fly-half in Ronan but we have to find things out about ourselves," said Kidney.

"It was a difficult call but that doesn't really matter. My job is to pick the team and that's what I have done."

One of the most intriguing battles will be in the second row clash between Lions captain Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan with Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield.

Matfield is one of four changes to the side that beat Italy 32-10 last Saturday while de Villiers has opted to restore captain John Smit to his previously-favoured hooker position from prop.

Smit refused to accept that the South Africans would be entitled to claim fatigue as a reason after a seemingly never ending season this year.

"I think fatigue comes in many different forms," he said. "But it's silly to use that as an excuse."

Springbok fly-half Morne Steyn has been a revelation this year not least it was he who landed the 51 metres penalty that won the series against the Lions and scored all 31 points in the 31-19 victory over the All Blacks on August 1.

However, Steyn - who looked a wee bit off colour against Italy - admits defeat against Ireland would take some of the shine off their achievements this season.

"It's been an awesome year," said the 25-year-old Steyn.

"After the great season that we've had we just want to end it on a high note.

"I think losing on Saturday (would) make us forget about the great year and we'd only think about the loss against Ireland. We have to go out on a high."


  • TRICOLOR - 2009-11-27 09:54

    The South African team will win no doubt about it. however, what I find interesting is the attitude to a coming fixture. Any fixture be it tennis, golf or tiddly winks we South Africans climb into it as if we have a war on our hands. Rugby may be a passion but is still only a game. How many of us remember the '95RWC final score?

  • Nicola - 2009-11-27 10:07

    May the REAL men triumph: the Leinster boys !!

  • Tim - 2009-11-27 10:08

    Mini worldcup? hahahahahahaha love the sensationalism. You guys are really stooping low with that line. Ireland battled to draw with a weak Aussie side... France would smash the Irish in rugby...

  • Jor - 2009-11-27 10:12

    Tri-Nations champions South Africa on Saturday in what is essentially a mini World Cup final two years away from the real thing in New Zealand. Sorry boys if you want to win a world Cup final you have to the make the semis first. Ask the Boks they know all about winning the Wold cup. No amount of media hipe and dreaming will make Ireland wold champs. This is just a game nothing else but I think its going to be a cracker. Go Boks!

  • Paddyspanishman - 2009-11-27 10:15

    God i hate P dVs holier than thou attitude,i mean when he's been interviewed(most recently on boots an' all) he's never wrong, he never takes responsibility, never admits he has made a mistake. He MIGHT be a good coach but he's fit for front of shop. Meyer's back in SA right? there's a gentleman, or Mallet , while your at it send the Clown up to Italy, coaching Italy would certainly knock some of his SA superiority down a peg or two. And we'd get endless entertainment from his off the wall accusations and stupid comments after games.

  • Johann - 2009-11-27 10:18

    How can you see this as a "mini World Cup final"? The best 2 teams in the last few years remain SA and NZ. That will be a worthy World Cup final. These northern hemisphere teams are only competitive on there own crappy heavy fields. Go Bokke. Irish get ready to be minced into hamburger paddys.

  • Colin - 2009-11-27 10:20

    What a pity that exceptional bad sport O'Gara is not in the starting 15. Perhaps the management will err by sending him on with 15 minutes remaining - that will then signal the end of the Irish hopes.

  • Skipper - 2009-11-27 10:23

    We must scrum the moaning, groaning grumbling Irish so black and blue that even their mothers-in-law will feel sorry for them! Goi Bokke and do a job on them - big time!

  • Nicola - 2009-11-27 10:23

    May the REAL men win ... the Leinster boys!!

  • HANDOGG - 2009-11-27 10:24

    15 - 12. Are you retarded?

  • rugbyfan - 2009-11-27 10:26

    15-12 after two extra time plays.

  • @Tricolor - 2009-11-27 10:27

    15-12 to the Boks - you can't be a real Bok fan and be older than 23 if you can't remember that.

  • 95WC - 2009-11-27 10:34

    15-12 (12 -12 full time) What is your point?

  • Danie - 2009-11-27 10:36

    It's always war no matter if you play or watch,nobody likes to loose,and a good loser looses often.The RWC 95 final score was 15-12 after extra time

  • dean - 2009-11-27 10:39

    of course this is war why else are we playing ... to losse. i dont think so , Poor Pdv has to eat his own words... how many oversease players has he called back.... why did he not call frans steyn back???????????

  • Martin - 2009-11-27 10:39

    Ireland have another thing coming if they think that they will be facing a tired, weak Bok team. We will not be walked over. I say 23-21 to the Springboks tomorrow. Viva SA!!

  • Superman - 2009-11-27 10:40


  • GeePMB - 2009-11-27 10:41

    A "Mini World Cup Final" !! who in their right mind thinks that. Ireland have never and will never reach the world cup final. Who writes this drivel? If the Irish players are looking for war then it's war they will get. Let's not forget O'Gara's try that cost us the match when Smit was told to talk to his players. The Irish are not angels on the park either. The boks are up for this game and the Irish can throw whatever they like at us they will get it all back tenfold. Lats time I looked, the Webb-Ellis trophy has South Africa engraved on it TWICE. I don't see Irelands name there ever!! Go Bokke, trample those leprachaun fearing, Guiness swilling, potato growers who the champions are tomorrow!!!

  • @Nicola - 2009-11-27 10:41

    Hey you have a ssssttttutter. We heard you the first time....

  • LoveIreland - 2009-11-27 10:44

    At least the Irish rugby coach is there because he's the best, not because of his skin colour!

  • @Tricolor - 2009-11-27 10:46

    Sorry dude, gonna have to climb into you here! Any rugby fan will forever had 15-12 embedded into their brain just as any cricket fan will remember 438! Anyways, this article is grasping at straws, trying to create a story from nowhere. SA, NZ and France and then Ireland, so more like a RWC semi, but who cares that's two years away! No one mentioned RWC final when we played Kiwis several times in Tri-Nations.

  • @TRICOLOR - 2009-11-27 10:47

    what a crap comment...i was freaken 8 at that time and i can still remember the score, hell i can remember all the players and what happened during the game...

  • Diepseun - 2009-11-27 10:49

    The "Bokke" should make it because "Early Rose" is nominated to perform his act.

  • Pieter De Villiers - 2009-11-27 11:06

    I am calling up Thierry Henry for the last training session, he's going to teach the guys how to use hands in the ruck without the referee seeing.....

  • peter - 2009-11-27 11:10

    @vivian,shows just how little you know about the sport of rugby-Jonah Lomu never ran over Joost to score a try against SA.In fact he has never been able to score against us.We dont need morons like you to support a winning team.

  • Fred - 2009-11-27 11:14

    Hey Vivian stop being an idiot. Your knowledge of rugby is obviously twisted by a racist bias. And the fact that Jonah Lomu NEVER scored a try against South Africa is also beyond you. Get out from under your rock and realise that the best players - whoever they are, have to play for the Boks. Not some tokens.

  • peter - 2009-11-27 11:16

    @vivian,shows just how little you know about the sport of rugby-Jonah Lomu never ran over Joost to score a try against SA.In fact he has never been able to score against us.We dont need morons like you to support a winning team.

  • @Vivian - 2009-11-27 11:18

    Oh please Vivian. We all know you are actually white, skeef and a virgin. Probably 30 years old already as well. Go buy a playboy magazine.

  • JG - 2009-11-27 11:18

    Vivian, don't know wher you're coming from (oops sorry it's the race card again). Based on what can win the world cup right now, the colour is right. Unfortnately the problem stems back a few layers in the development system, so don't point fingers at the current, capable boys in green.

  • Jurie - 2009-11-27 11:18

    @VIVIAN - what the hell are you smoking????? quality players make a good team, not a team balanced out as a result of race issues!!! Jonah Lomu never scored a try against the Boks in his whole career, he didn't run over Joost, he was tackled by him!!!! Could we please leave the comments here to the real rugby supporters! The Boks remain our team and I will support them even though I also do not agree with selections sometimes. Vivian I think you should go and bitch and moan about netball or something...

  • Nicola - 2009-11-27 11:19

    heh! heh! I thought I would say it twice - one for each neuron in your brain!

  • Orion - 2009-11-27 11:20

    @ Vivian - I would be surprised if you can recall Jonah Lomu scoring a try against the Boks seeing that he has never scored a try against us. In addition, the final SA vs NZ scoreline in 1995 was 15-12 and not 12-11 as you say. Please get your facts in order before attempting to post drivel. And it's fine that you not supporting the Boks - they won't miss you given your obvious lack of common sense.

  • SPRINGBOK FAN - 2009-11-27 11:21

    @VIVIAN is a POEPOLIAN. 23-18 to the Boks. I won't support Bafana as there are not enough Indians, Coloureds and Whites (and Chinese) in the team. Yeah right, I'm not as disillusioned like Vivian the Barbarian!!! And for Pete's sake stop reporting it as "the eye gouging incident", he was found NOT GUILTY.

  • GEORGE - 2009-11-27 11:23


  • GeePMB - 2009-11-27 11:23

    @VIVIAN: Clearly you remember nothing. It was Mike Catt (England) that was run over by Lomu and it was Joost Van Der Westhuizen who stopped Lomu in his tracks with the biggest tackle of the tournament. As for your "Lilly-White" comments, the less said the better, why is it that no one EVER complains about the all black nature of the useless Bafana football tream but wants transfotnation at any cost in rugby (and cricket). There was no poisoning of the All-Blacks in 95, it was a figment of the imagination of the media and an excuse offered by New Zealand for choking yet again in a world cup final. Please go and support Ireland (which by the way is very "Lilly-White") in fact to quote your brethren, if you don't like it, leave the country!!

  • Malcolm - 2009-11-27 11:24

    @VIVIAN You clearly don't know what you are talking about..........

  • @ VIVIAN - 2009-11-27 11:27

    Vivian - jy is ook maar lekker stupid, eerste plek Jonah Lomu se drie was teen England waar hy oor die ouens gehardloop het en die 2de plek daar was geen driee gedruk in die RWC'95 final nie al die punte was strafskoppe. Jou rasistiesse aanmerkings is die groot rede hoekom SA agteruit boer en nie voorentoe nie so gaan koop liewer blou ligte saam Malema dan kan jy ook vinniger by PEP uikom om breinselle te koop. Go BOKKE !!!!

  • Michiel - 2009-11-27 11:29

    @ VIVIAN. if read a few of your comments on differnet site. you are a racist. players should play according to talent. there was no try scored in the final. this just shows how little you know about rugby. you are ridiculus. you are a embaresment to South Africa.

  • @Vivian - 2009-11-27 11:37

    Oh please Vivian. We all know you are actually white, skeef and a virgin.

  • T - 2009-11-27 11:39

    @ TRICOLOR. I think ALL Bok supporters remember that score! In case you had any doubt google INVICTUS and then wait for the movie next year. Dumb@ss. And by the name you've chosen I think you should remember another one from that WC SA 19:15 France!!!!

  • Sean - 2009-11-27 11:39

    @Vivian, it is probably better that you dont support the Boks, because you clearly dont know what you are talking about. The score was 15-12, and Jonah Lomu NEVER scored a try against SA.....

  • Lloyd Robinson - 2009-11-27 11:42

    @ VIVIAN - Are you seriously pulling out the race card again, you fool. Can we not get over the colour issue that’s continuously dividing and destroying our country? You idiot. PS : Notice I put my real name because if you were in front of me right now I would kick your ass, and when you wake up I'd want you to know who it was.

  • NdP - 2009-11-27 11:45

    Vivian you DH……….Not only have you got the RWC’95 score wrong, but you also want a better SA by supporting the Irish and New Zealand. Sorry to burst your bubble but “All Blacks” has nothing to do with skin colour. There’s nothing as stupid as an idiot thinking he is clever.

  • Deen - 2009-11-27 12:26

    it appears everybody forgets about the france victory a couple of weeks back, so bad that the bks went on to pick the best possible team avaiable to beat italy. and with such a pathetic score, in fact me thinks Italy was the winners of the game I expected it to be at least 50 point margin. france smashes the boks, they were neva any problems to the Hane. Now they again are big headed against irish okes. This will be a win, 35 -12 to ireland, the 12 is the 2 penalties, and the 2 drops of steyntjie.

  • Ian - 2009-11-27 12:43

    The Boks will be eating Steak & Kidney pie on saturday night!!

  • Dgs - 2009-11-27 13:00

    Headline: "Irish, SA set for bitter war" Have Ireland called on the IRA to take on the Boks?

  • GeePMB - 2009-11-27 13:03

    @ A_McG: What is racist about "leprachaun fearing, Guiness swilling, potato growers" Fact: Many Irish DO fear the leprachaun, Fact The Irish DO swill Guiness and FACT The Irish DO grow potatoes. Clearly you have a misguided view of what cosntitutes racism. I support my Soith African teams irrespective of the racial make-up of the selected squad so get over yourself.

  • TROPHY HUNTER - 2009-11-27 13:03

    When last I checked Schalk's Trophy cabinet I found 4 pairs of testicles and 2 sunburnt ears... no eyes - so Irish beware

  • MACK THE ELEPHANT - 2009-11-27 13:29

    Tricolor - so well put ,and so very true.I think the final score was 12-12 at full time and 15-12 to our SRINGBOKS after Stransky saved our day with a magnificent drop goal in extra time !Thing is I dont remember the 2007 score off hand .....point made !

  • CM - 2009-11-27 13:51

    Do the authors not read what has already been published on this site, over and over the same rubbish about this supposed war