Between two nations that will find themselves in the same World Cup group (with Scotland, Tonga and Romania) in less than a year, the ascendancy seems to have been taken by the Irish, Saturday evening in a green lagoon jersey . Except in the last five minutes, we found the South Africans blunt, in any case unable to offer for an hour and a half their usual game of contacts and challenges on the advantage line. And when they got there, they were irresistible, evidenced by the test of their winger Arendse (76th), served on a platter by the immense Eben Etzebeth.
The first period of this confrontation which promised much did not deliver anything thrilling. In an Aviva Stadium in Dublin which was sold out, the score was furnished only by the scorers. Veteran Jonathan Sexton placed his two goals (3rd, 36th) while opener Damian Willemse was imprecise, unscrewing (21st) after opening his counter in the 9th. Cheslin Kolbe, placed at the back, had to put the two teams equal at the break (40th, 6-6) after receiving a yellow card (17th) for dangerous tackle, numerical superiority of which Ireland did not know to profit from.
In the second half, the Irish came back with better intentions and above all more efficiency. On a carried ball, the skilful Van der Flier planted the ball in the Springbok in-goal (47th). Then on an exit from camp negotiated at the foot, the Irish recovery routed the ball in the right tempo to the wing of Hansen who plunged with delight into the South African hinterland (50th, 16-6). The two transformations missed by Jonathan Sexton were anecdotal.
On the hour mark, the South African staff brought in their bench of substitutes and the finishers (Koch, Smith, De Klerk, Le Roux, Nche and Mbonambi in order of appearance) weighed more than the starters. They managed, in the wake of Franco Mostert, author of the bok test (67th, 16-11), to influence the course of this match but not enough to win. In Dublin, the tone and power they expressed during the Rugby Championship this summer was lacking in the next opponents of the XV of France (Saturday October 12, 9 p.m.) in Saint-Denis, if we except the last moments. of this game.