The Irish national team managed to pull of the club’s first ever win on Springbok territory winning 26-20 over South Africa on Saturday. What makes it even more amazing was the team’s heart and dedication after Flanker CJ Strander was sent off in the 22nd minute with a questionable red card.
The hit was vicious, but you could argue against the red card. This play should have resulted in a yellow card strictly for the severity of the hit that Flyhalf Pat Lambie felt. But the hit was not egregious and Strander was playing the ball. However, the ref’s ruling was a red so Ireland was facing an uphill battle despite leading 10-3 at the time.
After being down a man, Ireland stuck with a simple gameplan of tactical kicking and strong defense to shut down the Springbok new look attack. New Springbok coach Allister Coetzee was managing his first game for the club and was let down immensely. The Boks couldn’t handle turnover ball and was seen scrambling to regain control against a rather star-less Irish team.
One could imagine just how more severe the game could have been for the Boks if Strander’s penalty was a mere yellow.
Still, this is a big victory for Joe Schmidt’s Irish club after a disappointing showing in the World Cup and Six Nations. The Springboks are still on the verge of being one of the top in the World and Ireland wants to start going at a 2020 World Cup Championship.
South Africa will have a chance at redemption when the two teams face off next Saturday for another test match.
Full Match Highlights:
And the #FutureIsGreen. The u20 team became the first Irish team to beat New Zealand at any age level at the World u20 Championships. Both victories are similar as the Irish u20 team had to overcome another controversial sin bin when Adam McBurney was sent off in the 18th minute. The Irish overcame early New Zealand tries and ultimately won on a 8 man pick by Max Deegan which gave the u20 team a 33-24 win.
Full Match Highlights:
The only way Irish fans could have been more elated after beating South Africa was to find out that they have a serious contending at their youth level. The u20 team will play Georgia next in pool play, but have already secured a place in the Semi finals when they topped Wales 26-25 on Match Day 1.