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'Horrendous showing': Springbok fans come to uncomfortable realisation after Ireland defeat

By Sam Smith
(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The last time the Springboks travelled to Dublin they suffered a heavy 38-3 defeat five years ago, but this time things were different as the visitors came as World Cup holders.

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South Africa claimed the Rugby World Cup in 2019 while Ireland climbed to No 1 in the World Rugby rankings after beating the All Blacks in a three match series 2-1 in July.

South African fans had high expectations that the result in Dublin would be reversed to help prove their credibility as World Cup champions.

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After failing to capture the Rugby Championship for two years running, knocking off the No 1 side at home would be a powerful statement for the Springboks.

After a tense opening half locked at 6-all it was Ireland who started strong with back-to-back tries in the second half to build a 16-6 lead, a deficit too much for the visitors to overcome.

Springbok fans vented online at the ‘horrendous showing’ with some coming to an uncomfortable realisation – that the side may have been lucky during their World Cup run.

One fan wrote “that World Cup win was a fluke and we all know it” after watching Ireland hold on for a 19-16 victory, which was South Africa’s ninth loss since becoming champions.

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The Irish pack largely stood up to the Springboks at set-piece time, demolishing them at the scrum a couple of times and disarming the famed rolling maul.

After introducing a new front row, South Africa conceded a penalty with the first scrum with their fresh forwards.

Ireland gained the upper hand up front and laid the platform for their win with the opening try to Josh van der Flier who squeezed the ball down from the back of the maul.

As has become a standard reaction from many South African fans, some naturally turned on the referee to lay blame for the result with claims Ireland got away with forward passes and ‘incorrect’ scrum penalties.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi praised the Irish defence who ‘stopped the maul’ from the very beginning and caused issues at the scrum.

“I thought Ireland played really well and they deserved the victory today,” Kolisi said.

“Our maul was stopped from the word go and then obviously our scrums can be much better. We normally dominate in those instances and I thought Ireland were really good.

“They came prepared, they knew our maul was one of our key things and they made plans to stop that.

“In the Rugby Championship we created so many opportunities and we didn’t take them and the same thing happened today.

“When you play against a team like this with so little, they had two opportunities and scored a try in both of them.”

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