Dublin - The Springboks were gutted about losing their
tour-opener in a wet Dublin to a very good Ireland on Saturday and heaped
praise on their hosts for a better performance in tricky conditions.
As it happened: Ireland v Springboks
Ireland won 29-15 - it was the Springboks’ first defeat to a side from the Northern Hemisphere since they lost to Scotland in November 2010.
Both sides scored two tries apiece but the South Africans were made to pay for ill-discipline at crucial stages of the match as Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton slotted four penalty goals and two conversions for a personal haul of 16 points.
Marcell Coetzee scored the Boks’ first try from a rolling maul while JP Pietersen rounded off a good movement late in the match. Handré Pollard added a conversion and one penalty goal.
“We are sorry that we let our country and our supporters down with that performance,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer after the match.
“The Irish deserve a lot of credit though - they played the conditions better and were tactically superior. We knew it was going to be a tough tussle and we were not good enough on the day.
“But we can’t afford to dwell too much on what is in the past. We have a massive game against England at Twickenham on Saturday and we simply have to show a massive improvement because they will be just as tough to beat at home.”
The Springboks travel to London on Sunday,
where they face England on Saturday. Kick-off is at 16:30 SA time.