Despite a superb second half display, in which they outscored their opponents 15-3, Ireland came up short in their opening World Cup game, losing 36-27 to the holders South Africa.
Despite a superb second half display, in which they outscored their opponents 15-3, Ireland came up short in their opening World Cup game, losing 36-27 to the holders South Africa in Oxford on Friday afternoon (June 13th).
In a game played in blistering weather conditions, the Irish trailed 26-12 at the break all their scores in that period coming from the boot of out-half, MIchael Rainey.
However in the second half, the Irish produced a tremendous team performance, full of courage, commitment and no small amount of skill to rattle their illustrious opponents and threaten the shock of the round.
The Irish had tries from Keith Matthews and Ciaran Potts and were just two points adrift, 29-27, as the game entered it’s final minutes. Disaster struck then for the Irish when the South Africans fashioned a break-away try to score under the posts and deny the Irish even the compensation of a bonus point. That was the very least this Irish side deserved.
Ireland. T Bowe (Queens University); K Matthews (UL Bohs), B Murphy (UL Bohs), G Telford (Instonians), J Hearty (Blackrock College); M Rainey (Glasgow Hawks), F O’Loughlin (Shannon); J Moran (UCD), R Best (Belfast Harlequins), D Fitzpatrick (Belfast Harlequins), D Gannon (UCD), N McComb (Dundee Highschool), J Muldoon (Galwegians), S Keogh (UCC, capt), C Potts (St Mary’s College).
Replacements: R Lane (UCC) for Matthews (55), S Crawford (UCD) for McComb, N Ronan (Lansdowne) for Muldoon (both 73), E McGovern (Old Crescent) for Morgan (77).
Sin-binned: O’Loughlin (44-57), Crawford (85).
South Africa. M J Mentz; A Bock, B Ferreira, L Uys, B Buys; S Swart, E Januaire; J D Moller, D Dritz, N Fullard, G Gilfillan, R Skeate, S Burger (capt), J Cronje, H Haupt.
Replacements: D Hougaard for Uys (21-32) and for Buys (66), B Adams for Haupt (66), A Bekker for Skeate (75), T Chauhanga for Uys (75-80).
Sin-binned: Burger (50-63), Cronje (60-71).