12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
He said: "I was understandably nervous at the start, but they are a great bunch of players to be involved with and everyone was very supportive. The further the match went on, the more I settled down and enjoyed it and I was very happy with the way things worked out and especially with our scrum."
Donncha O'Callaghan challenges South African lock Albert van den Berg for a lineout ball. The Springboks won 16 of their own lineouts, while losing two. Ireland hooker Best saw his jumpers claim 11 of his throws with just one going astray.
Pierre Spies tries to halt the progress of Ireland flanker David Wallace who ran in for his sixth try in 31 Tests during the first half. 'Wally' had been a doubt earlier in the week due to an ankle injury but he came through the 80 minutes unscathed.
Francois Steyn, seen here against Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll, did enough to suggest he will not be a one-cap wonder for the Springboks. The 19-year-old's rise up the ranks at the Natal Sharks has seen him come to national prominence. It is incredible to think that just twelve months ago Steyn, a Free State farm boy, was sitting in a school gym in Bloemfontein doing his matric exams.
A disgruntled looking Jake White watches his side slump to their first defeat to one of the home nations since they went down 32-16 to England at Twickenham in November 2004. White said after the 'Boks' second successive loss to Ireland: "It was only at that stage (after Marcus Horan's try) that I felt we were in deep trouble.
"A team with quality half-backs like (Peter) Stringer and (Ronan) O'Gara will always be able to ride out the storm from a position of strength like that. You've got to give that pair credit for what they did in the second half. They used all their experience and skill to keep us pinned down inside our own half."
South African replacement lock Johann Muller wins a lineout ball ahead of Ireland's Donncha O'Callaghan. It was the 26-year-old Muller's first cap against the Irish - the Sharks man had started the 'Boks' last three games in the Tri-Nations.
Ireland out-half Ronan O'Gara is left feeling sandwiched and unsighted by South African locks Albert van den Berg and Johan Ackermann. Thanks to his kicking haul of three conversions and two penalties, O'Gara has now scored 54 points in five appearances against the Springboks.
New South African full-back Bevin Fortuin gets a fistful of Brian O'Driscoll's jersey during an Irish attack at Lansdowne Road. O'Driscoll was leading Ireland to a 22nd win in his 31st Test as team captain. The 27-year-old centre signed a new contract with the IRFU last week and revealed his reasons for staying with Leinster: "It was all about the Leinster side of it and how the Union treats players with the number of games played.
"All of that put together convinced me to stay. I believe Leinster can achieve something in the next few years."
Ireland flanker Neil Best holds onto possession in a tackle from South Africa's number 8 Pierre Spies. Best was his hard-working self throughout his sixth cap for his country. The Ulster man said afterwards: "I was naturally delighted with the victory, but there were certain aspects of my own game that I wasn't happy with and on a personal level, I'd have to say I'm disappointed.
"But it was a great day for Andrew Trimble who again showed what a great player he is and our aim has to be to give him the ball and space and he'll do the rest."
Despite the support of his Leinster team-mate Gordon D'Arcy, Shane Horgan has a try chance snuffed out by the covering Pierre Spies and Bevin Fortuin during the first half.
Marcus Horan gets over for a first half try off a close-in ruck, despite the best efforts of (number 6) Danie Rossouw. Horan's effort was his fifth try in 41 Test matches. The Limerick man, 29, seems to hit a scoring streak in the Autumn internationals - he also touched down against the USA in November 2004 and against New Zealand in November 2005.
Rory Best gets it in the face from South Africa's diminutive scrum half Ricky Januarie. The 5ft 7in Cats pivot, who will battle Fourie du Preez for the number 9 jersey at the World Cup, could only ever be called 'Ricky' - his first name is Enrico and his second is Ricardo!
**All photos by Inpho Photography**
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