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Springboks edged by Ireland in Dublin nail-biter

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Ireland showed composure under pressure and took advantage of some unforced errors by the visitors to beat the Springboks 19-16 (half-time 6-6) in a hard-fought Test match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday evening.

The two sides were level at at the halftime break following two successful penalty goals each way, but Ireland broke clear with two tries in quick succession early in the second half to heap pressure on the Boks, and although they fought back, it wasn’t enough in the end.

It was a great arm wrestle in the first half, with Siya Kolisi’s men enjoying more territory, but Ireland looked dangerous whenever they entered the South African danger zone.

The Boks couldn’t convert their territorial advantage and pressure into more points as a result of a some frustratingly unforced errors. Ireland, on the other hand, couldn’t get their fast-paced game going in the opening stanza as a result of the visitors’ defensive pressure.

It was Ireland who got early points on the board via the boot of their captain and flyhalf Johnny Sexton, who slotted an easy penalty goal when the Boks were punished at the breakdown.

Five minutes later the scores were even again when Damian Willemse replied with a closed range penalty goal after the Irish had played wing Kurt-Lee Arendse in the air.

Cheslin Kolbe, playing in first Test at fullback, was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle on Irish left wing Mack Hansen, giving Ireland numerical advantage for 10 minutes.

Sexton presented Willemse with his second attempt at goal when he was blown up for tackling Damian de Allende around the neck. However, Willemse sent his kick wide before Kolbe returned to action without SA conceding any points while he was in the sin bin.

The hosts nearly scored the first try of the match when Dan Sheehan kicked the ball through after he charged down a Willemse clearance kick. The Irish hooker managed to beat Jesse Kriel to the ball, however, he knocked the ball forward before dotting down.

But Ireland then won another penalty for a no-arms tackle and Sexton made it 6-3 with his second goal kick.

Kolbe was called forward for the easy penalty goal attempt right on the halftime whistle when the hosts were trapped offside, with the Bok fullback making no mistake with his kick to tie the scores at halftime.

Kurt-Lee Arendse goes up for a high ball.

Kurt-Lee Arendse goes up for a high ball.

Ireland started the second half with much more vigour and they scored the first try of the game when flanker Josh van der Flier went over in the corner following a powerful lineout maul. That gave the Irish an 11-6 advantage and some much needed injection in their efforts.

Two minutes later, another error at the breakdown gave Ireland a free attack, which they gratefully finished in the corner where Hansen scored, opening up a 10-point lead for the hosts at 16-6 with a lot of rugby still to be played.

However the momentum was now all with Ireland, who also managed to get a few crucial scrum penalties in their favour as they kept the pressure on the South Africans.

The Springboks finally scored their first try when replacement lock Franco Mostert was on hand to take the final pass and dot down, while Kolbe hit the upright with his conversion attempt as the men in green and gold reduced the deficit to 16-11 with just over 10 minutes remaining.

A third Sexton penalty goal opened up an eight-point gap for Ireland with seven minutes left on the clock, leaving the tourists to score twice for a win.

But Arendse then scored for SA as he took an Eben Etzebeth pass to dot down out wide as they narrowed the gap to 19-16 with full-time looming, and Ireland managed to run the clock for another famous and well-deserved win, stretching their win-record at the Aviva Stadium to 31 from 33 games.

Scorers:

Springboks 16 (6) – Tries: Franco Mostert, Kurt-Lee Arendse. Penalty goals: Damian Willemse, Cheslin Kolbe.

Ireland 19 (6) – Tries: Josh van der Flier, Mack Hansen. Penalty goals: Johnny Sexton (3).

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby


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Spencer looking to bring innovation to Sky Super Rugby Aupiki

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Former All Blacks and Blues first five-eighths Carlos Spencer hopes to pass on the sort of rugby that marked his career as a backs coach for the Blues women’s side in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki in 2023.

The 99-time Blues’ pivot played 44 Tests for the All Blacks and 89 games for Auckland during his career spanning the turn of the century. He also played for Northampton and Gloucester in the English Premiership.

Since building his coaching record after completing his rugby-playing career in South Africa in Gauteng, he has coached in the Republic, the United States and the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Now he has taken the chance to join head coach Willie Walker and fellow assistant coach Linda Itunu with the Blues.

Spencer, 47, said: “When I was playing, I always liked to bring a bit of innovation and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking to the table. Now, as a coach, I want to encourage and help grow those same traits in our Blues wahine.”

Like most of New Zealand, he was caught up in the Black Ferns’ World Cup success, and he anticipates there will be a follow-on effect in Sky Super Rugby Aupiki.

“You’ve seen the rise of women’s rugby and the way the public got right in behind the Black Ferns.

“We’re at an exciting juncture for the sport, and I’m looking forward to getting involved and doing what I can to help grow and support women’s rugby.”

“I’ve known Willie [Walker] for a while. We’ve thrown the touch ball around and have a good relationship. He’s done some fantastic work with the Auckland Storm in the Farah Palmer Cup, and I’m looking forward to exchanging ideas and getting the backline humming.

“I don’t know Linda, but have seen her exploits on the field for many years with the Black Ferns – she was an enforcer on the field,”

Blues chief executive Andrew Hore said having Spencer on board with the Blues organisation was special, and was an example of harnessing the resources available within the franchise’s region.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby


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Constructive talks between World Rugby, Erasmus

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South Africa Rugby - Image Credit Asics

World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin and World Rugby Director of Rugby Phil Davies met with South Africa Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus on Thursday and held positive discussions regarding recent events and match official communications in general.

Views were exchanged resulting in a better understanding of the respective positions.

There was agreement that further dialogue was needed in terms of enhancing the process that operates between teams and match officials to ensure all can play their part in creating great spectacles and avoid frustration but in a way that underpins the respect for match officials, coaches and players.

Further dialogue will continue after today’s final Springbok test of the year.

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Nienaber, Kolisi praise Boks for special win

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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi praised the team for their brave effort to earn their first win over England at Twickenham since 2014, and their first personal victories in London as they registered a rewarding 27-13 victory on Saturday.

The Boks built up an encouraging 14-3 halftime lead and managed to stretch it to 27-6 in the 57th minute before being reduced to 14 men for the last 20 minutes after replacement prop Thomas du Toit received a red card for a dangerous tackle. Despite this, the team hung on as if their lives depended on it to snatch the memorable victory.

The result saw the Boks win two of their four matches on the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour – with the two narrow defeats being against the first and second ranked teams in the world in Ireland and France.

“We’ve had a couple of special results as a team, but this was the first win for Siya and I at Twickenham, so it’s very special to us,” said Nienaber.

“The forwards were outstanding and created a good platform for our backs to attack, so all-in-all, it was a fantastic team effort.”

Kolisi echoed lauded the entire team for their efforts to make the victory possible.

“Sometimes we take it for granted what a special environment one is in and the great coaching team we have,” said Kolisi.

“When we got together with most of this coaching team in 2018, we all bought into the plans and the synergy and the way we work together is really special in this group.”

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi thanks the crowd after the Boks won at Twickenham.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi thanks the crowd after the Boks won at Twickenham.

Nienaber was delighted with the way some of the young players rose to the occasion and said: “With this match being outside of the international Test window there were a whole lot of players who were not available for selection, but we have a lot of players knocking on the door and it was great to give those guys an opportunity tonight.

“It’s always good to give those players a chance under such pressure in front of a packed Twickenham, which can be pretty hostile, and they stood up today.”

Asked what he had told his players when they were reduced to 14 men, Kolisi said: “We actually said last week there is nothing we haven’t faced together as a group year. We’ve even been in situation when we had a red card, so the players knew what to do.

“Everyone knew they had to work harder to make up for the extra man, and the way the forwards played was great, and everyone did their bit to get the result.”

Wrapping up the tour, Nienaber said: “This was one of the most enjoyable four weeks we’ve had had even though we only got a 50% win record. The way the team, coaches, management and the game drivers made plans and worked tightly together with it was great, and we can take a lot from this going forward.”

The team will make their journey back to South Africa on Sunday and arrive on their home soil on Monday.

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby


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