Boks sink to new low in Dublin

South Africa suffered a record 38-3 loss against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Ireland’s biggest win margin in the 25 previous Tests dating back to 1906 was 17 points.  In a performance reminiscent of the Boks’ 2016 European tour, which included historic losses against England, Italy and Wales, the tourists were completely out-coached and out-played by Joe Schmidt’s team.

The Ireland coach obviously referred to his keynotes from a failed 2016 tour of South Africa, as well as a keen analysis of the 2017 Boks. A vociferous Aviva Stadium crowd spent most of the 80 minutes cheers as the hosts bombarded South Africa’s wingers with kicks they couldn’t field.

As the scoreline suggests, the home side delivered a dominant display as they controlled proceedings from start to finish and they eventually outscored their visitors four tries to none.

Ireland halfbacks Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton delivered a tactical masterclass.

The Springboks suffered an early setback when Coenie Oosthuizen was forced off the field in the second minute with a leg injury after going down under a challenge from Bundee Aki.

Two minutes later, Beast Mtawarira was blown up for illegal scrummaging and Sexton opened the scoring when he slotted the resulting penalty.

Ireland had the better of the early exchanges and it showed on the scoreboard as they were 9-0 up midway through the half thanks to two further penalties from Sexton.

First, after Lood de Jager was penalised for slowing the ball down illegally in the 15th minute and five minutes later, after Pieter-Steph du Toit infringed at a ruck.

The hosts were slowly taking control of proceedings as they dominated the possession and territorial stakes and, crucially, also winning the bulk of the collisions – best illustrated when Iain Henderson bumped off Eben Etzebeth in an earth-hattering second row confrontation in the 22nd minute.

Ireland’s dominance reaped further reward in the 25th minute when Murray launched a teasing box kick which Courtnall Skosan failed to deal with on the edge of the Boks’ 22. Andrew Conway gathered the bouncing ball and outsprinted the cover defence before crossing in the right-hand corner for the game’s opening try and the first of his Test career.

Sexton was off target with the conversion but Ireland continued to dominate as the half continued, although they would score no further points during this period and the teams changed sides with the hosts leading 14-0 at half-time.

The visitors dominated the second half’s opening exchanges, however, and eventually opened their account in the 44th minute when Jantjies landed a penalty after CJ Stander was blown up for a high tackle on Mtawarira.

Ireland replied with a Sexton penalty in the 57th minute, after Du Toit was penalised at a breakdown again, and although the next 15 minutes was an arm-wrestle, Ireland would seal the win with three late tries from Rhys Ruddock, Rob Herring and Jacob Stockdale.

Ruddock’s try was a special one as he beat Franco Mostert with a great side-step before crashing over in the 71st minute. This after an inside pass from Sexton to Stockdale in the build-up, tore the Bok defence to shreds. Stockdale offloaded to Conway, who was stopped close to the Boks’ tryline, and after another phase was set up, Ruddock rounded off with his superb finish.

That score knocked the wind out of the visitors’ sails but Ireland were far from finished. Five minutes later, South African-born hooker Herring powered his way over the whitewash off the back off a driving maul before Stockdale rounded off a superb backline move in the game’s dying moments to add the final nail to the Boks’ coffin.

The scorers:

For Ireland:
Conway, Ruddock, Herring, Stockdale
Cons: Sexton, Carbery 2
Pens: Sexton 4

For South Africa:

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 James Ryan, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Darren Sweetnam

South Africa: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (c), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Francois Venter

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Ian Davies (Wales)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)


- All Out Rugby Staff Writer

Let's chat

  • Leon Botha

    A sad day for SA; the Springbok is dead…

    • hopeful

      I am a resilient supporter but this was a hard one to take… was like watching Ireland vs Zimbabwe….

  • Johan

    Zelim, CJ Stander was considered too small for South Africa. Do you still think that this three lose
    forwards are better than “amateur” Kwagga?

  • Johan

    Also since amazing Polly came on, 24-0 to the Irish, but we blame Jantjies, when he has to play with an idiot Elende, who kicks the ball away in a 3 vs 1 overlap

  • Johan

    And our amazing game plan, pick the big guys, Lood, Eben, Kolisi, du Toit, who run straight at the defenders, every time…getting hit backwards by 2 guys, and guess what, they can’t pass. Useless fatties…

    Finally when the one of runners doesn’t work, we ask Cronje to kick the ball away. Then we blame him because that is not the way he plays, that is not the game he was chosen for.

    If you want to kick up and unders the whole game. Chose that players! You will still lose, but at least you have players that is good at that game plan

    • humblepie

      Excellent insights Johan. I am afraid that RSA rugby will continue its self destruction until it makes a paradigm shift on how the game should be played. Unfortunately that means different leadership. A stampkar coach will never convert to modern rugby. Time for new blood such as Mitchell or Ackerman. Until then…. expect more bleeding and record losses. Hau.

  • Sharky

    We all know that AC’s backline selections are crap and that our run-on centers are both shockers, but that has got to be the second worst Bok performance I have ever witnessed (the worst being Albany – also on AC’s watch).

    So since becomming Bok coach AC has racked up a bunch of “achievements”, none of which are positive:

    – First ever Bok loss to Italy
    – First ever loss to Ireland on home soil
    – First ever loss to Argentina away from home
    – Largest ever loss to Wales
    – Largest ever home loss to the All Blacks
    – Largest ever away loss the the All Blacks
    – Largest ever loss to Ireland

    AC has coached the Boks in 22 games, winning 9 (a 40.9% win ratio). Yet in those games he has acheived abovementioned 7 “achievements” (31.8% embarrassment ratio). I don’t think any international coach can claim to be so efficient at raking up embarrassments! He has also taken the Boks to their lowest ever world ranking and he is the first post-isolation Bok coach to have a negative points difference! A negative points difference!! And he’s done that two years in a row! I despair…

    • hopeful

      I am at a loss for words…..we blame the players….blame the system….blame the coach….I just don’t know.

      What I do know is what we have isn’t working and when something doesn’t work you make a change…

      I have plenty suggestions but we are all shouting in vain….AC is by far the worst coach and not because he lacks ability, which he does…..but because he lacks leadership and the respect of his team…the man has no chance of getting these guys to leave it all out on the field..

      Sharky – Always enjoy your comments even though we have some different opinions but in this instance we share a common one….

  • hopeful

    I have to ask Zelim?

    1) What is the idea behind Skosan and Leyds?

    2) Why does AC persist with Kriel and De Allende?

    3) When does AC take responsibility and why hasn’t SARU taken action?

    Just read the stats as mentioned by Sharky… what point does “Rebuilding” become synonym for “Destroying”

  • Peter

    And its gonna get worse before it gets better….forget whitewashing the ‘Froggies’ like in SA….based on yesterdays performances….hiding No 2…or is that 6,7 or 8 is gonna happen Paris……
    No Poly vous Francais….but ratherLes Miserables inflicted on “Bring-back-REAL-Boks”

  • Max

    AC has the most difficult job of all the current coaches coaching internationals teams Sharky as you are so good in writing down facts, go and compare all the coach’s T&Cs before they start coaching. The finance, surport structures, conditions, conditions of players availibity and how many bosses they have. Now when you get the bigger picture you will agree that there is no way a coach can produce a worldclass team and can players have the choice to decide where they want to play and when they will be availible for the Boks. We play with a fifth string team against their best internationals. How on earth can we beat them?How arrogant can we be? We need to start flushing those coaches and players and administators who are using SARU for their financial gain when they got recognized as worldclass. The Springbokjersey needs to come first as like it is in NZ and all over the world.

    • hopeful

      Really….you sympathise with AC?

      You are aware he chose the team?……you are aware he selected the combinations?

      You are aware he overlooked;

      Centers – Johan Janse Van Rensburg, Frans Steyn, Esterhuizen, Am, Vorster and Odendal

      Wings – Nkosi, Pieterson, Ismail, Mapimpi even Gelant could fill the role

      Loose Forwards: Vermeulen, Jacques Du Plessis, Du preez

      Please say it for what it is the man has no vision, no game plan and zero respect from his team…..I say zero respect because do you see any of the players killing themselves on that field….That’s a big fat no!!!!

      We have no lack of talent player wise…..what we do have is a lack of coaching talent and management intelligence….the saddest part is rugby used to make our weekends that much more enjoyable, now it only frustrates and infuriates us…we bitch and moan….cry foul….and ultimately lose interest….Sad day….absolutely…because our pride and love for the game is dwindling…

      • Max

        Reality Boet Reality. Not Really. I sympathise with AC and players because they are in the line of fire and not SARU who is responsible for this problem.

      • hopeful

        Centres not centers – I know we have spelling police

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