IRB Under-19 World Cup: Tuesday, April 5South Africa U-19 32 Ireland U-19 7, Woodburn OvalScorers: South Africa: Tries: Marlon Lewis, Hilton Lobberts, Jody Rose, Shande Frolick; Cons: Francois Steyn 3; Pens: Steyn 2Ireland: Try: Darren Cave; Con: Robert Kearney
Sullivan Upper School centre Cave struck in the 52nd-minute, and with captain Robert Kearney converting - the Irish were only 17-7 in arrears.
But a Baby Boks' burst of two tries - one converted - and a penalty in the next 17 minutes simply blew Murray's spirited charges away.
The Irish - minus late prop withdrawal Brendan Lynch (Rotherham Titans) - made an encouraging start and went toe-to-toe with their higher-ranked hosts.
The South Africans lost hooker Deon Fourie on 21 minutes for a cynical professional foul with the home try line under threat.
Unfortunately for Ireland, Eugene Eloff's men managed to score the game's opening try in the time Fourie was in the sin-bin, with replacement hooker Chilliboy Ralepelle setting up scrum-half Marlon Lewis' score with a timely interception.
Centre Francois Steyn converted and added a penalty for a 10-0 home lead at the break.
A second from substitute flanker Hilton Lobberts pushed them further in front on the restart.
Ireland failed to wilt though in the sunny conditions, and despite UCD student Kearney missing his only penalty shot on 38 minutes, they deservedly netted a try when the elusive Cave weaved under the posts on a 15-metre break.
Kearney converted, but that was to be the Irish's last scoring act as injuries to frontline forwards David McGowan, Gavin O'Meara and Barry O'Mahony dented their defence in the closing quarter.
South African substitutes Jody Rose and Shande Frolick touched down to put a gloss on the scoreboard and set up Saturday's meeting with Australia U-19 as a must-win one for Ireland.
Afterwards, full-back Kearney conceded: "It was a very tough match. We held them until half-time, then their pace and strength just got too much for us."
Ireland's South African-born technical advisor Hendrik Kruger added: "We competed well in the first half and should have taken the lead. But then their pace out wide caught us off-guard."
South Africa U-19: Gqobo Andisa; Jerome Williams, Jowayne van Niekerk, Francois Steyn, Randall April; Ricardo Croy, Marlon Lewis; Zander de Kock, Deon Fourie, Jan Volschenk, Hendrik van Niekerk, Alistair Hargreaves (Capt), Pieter Myburgh, Francois Uys, Yssl Swanepoel.Replacements used: Jakobus van Rensburg for Volschenk (13-19 mins), van Rensburg for de Kock, Johan Snyman for van Niekerk (both 19), Chilliboy Ralepelle for Uys (24-31), Ralepelle for Fourie, Hilton Lobberts for Uys, Richardt Strauss for Swanepoel (all 36), Shandre Frolick for Andisa (45), Jody Rose for Croy (48). Not used: JC Strauss, Warren Malgas, Petrus Vermeulen, Luvuyo Mhlobiso.
(15) Robert Kearney (UCD) (Capt)(14) Eric Moloney (UCC)(13) Fergus McFadden (Clongowes)(12) Darren Cave (Sullivan Upper School)
Replacements used: Devon Toner (Lansdowne) for Walsh (39), Gary Walsh (UL Bohemians) for Griffin (40), Daniel Dawson (Cooke) for McGowan, Adrian Saunderson (Ballyclare) for O'Mahony, Conor Muldoon (Galwegians) for O'Meara (all 67). Not used: Greg Cooney (Old Belvedere), Killian Lett (UCD), Robert Boles (Colstons Collegiate School), Frank Daly (Thomond), Kieran Moloney (Blackrock College RFC).
Coach: Pat MurrayAssistant Coach: Bryan HylandManager: Michael Cunningham
Sin-bin: Deon Fourie (South Africa) (21 mins)HT: South Africa U-19 10 Ireland U-19 0Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Ireland Results/fixture: (kick-offs, Irish time)
Friday, April 1: Ireland U-19 16 Georgia U-19 0, Kings Park (3)
Tuesday, April 5: South Africa U-19 32 Ireland U-19 7, Woodburn Oval
Saturday, April 9: Ireland U-19 v Australia U-19, ABSA Stadium, 1.45pm